India on Friday reasserted the need for the Indian and Chinese militaries to disengage troops at all areas in eastern Ladakh.
This comes just days after the two sides completed a “synchronised” disengagement process from the banks of Pangong Lake in eastern Ladakh after an eight-month-long military standoff.
The Indian side made the assertion on Friday when Indian Ambassador to China Vikram Misri met Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Luo Zhaohui. Misri also emphasised on how such a move would help restore peace and tranquillity at the border and provide conditions for progress in bilateral ties, officials said.
Earlier, during the 10th round of the senior commanders' meeting last month, India is learnt to have insisted on a faster disengagement process in areas such as Hot Springs, Gogra and Depsang to defuse tension in the region.
"Ambassador @VikramMisri met H.E. VFM Luo Zhaohui today at MFAChina. Amb emphasised that maintaining peace & tranquility in border areas had always been the basis for development of bilateral relations,” the Indian Embassy in China tweeted.
Ambassador @VikramMisri met H.E. VFM Luo Zhaohui today at MFAChina. Amb emphasised that maintaining peace & tranquility in border areas had always been the basis for development of bilateral relations. 1/3@MEAIndia @DrSJaishankar @HarshShringla pic.twitter.com/4bDZsP45Ih— India in China (@EOIBeijing) March 5, 2021
“Emphasizing the importance of completing disengagement in the remaining areas, Ambassador @VikramMisri noted that this would help restore peace and tranquility and provide conditions for progress in relations,” a second tweet stated.
Emphasizing the importance of completing disengagement in the remaining areas, Ambassador @VikramMisri noted that this would help restore peace and tranquility and provide conditions for progress in relations. 2/3@MEAIndia @DrSJaishankar @HarshShringla— India in China (@EOIBeijing) March 5, 2021
He also “flagged outstanding consular issues pertaining to Indian nationals and requested MFA’s facilitation in seeking a resolution,” another tweet stated.
Vice Foreign Minister Luo was a former Chinese Ambassador to India.
In New Delhi, the MEA on Friday said that India expects China to work with it through existing bilateral consultation mechanisms to ensure early completion of the disengagement process in the remaining areas in eastern Ladakh to allow both sides to consider de-escalation of forces.
At a weekly media briefing, MEA spokesperson Anurag Srivastava said External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar had a detailed discussion with his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi last week and agreed to set up a hotline, details of which would be worked out through diplomatic channels.
"It is our expectation that the Chinese side will work with us both through the WMCC (Working Mechanism for Consultation and Cooperation on India-China border issues) and the senior commanders' meetings to ensure that disengagement in the remaining areas is completed at the earliest," Srivastava said.
"This would allow both sides to consider de-escalation of forces in eastern Ladakh as that alone will lead to the restoration of peace and tranquillity and provide conditions for the progress in our bilateral relationship," he added.
Indian and Chinese troops who were locked in over eight-month long standoff in eastern Ladakh disengaged from the most contentious area of Pangong Tso.
The border standoff between the Indian and Chinese armies erupted on May 5 last year following a violent clash in the Pangong lake area and both sides gradually enhanced their deployment by rushing in tens of thousands of soldiers as well as heavy weaponry.
Subsequently, 20 Indian soldiers were killed in a fierce hand-to-hand combat on June 15 in the Galwan Valley, an incident that marked the most serious military conflicts between the two sides in over four decades. Eight months after the confrontation, China admitted that its four soldiers were killed in the clash.
(With PTI inputs)