India and China held 17th round of Corps Commander level talks at Chushul-Moldo border meeting point on the Chinese side on December 20, a joint statement said on Thursday.
The Corps Commander level talks between the two sides took place 11 days after the border clash at Yagtse area in Tawang of Arunachal Pradesh where the Indian troops foiled a land grab attempt by the Chinese PLA.
“Building on the progress made after the last meeting on 17th July 2022, the two sides exchanged views on the resolution of the relevant issues along the LAC in the Western Sector in an open and constructive manner,” the joint statement added.
They had a frank and in-depth discussion, keeping in line with the guidance provided by the State Leaders to work for the resolution of the remaining issues at the earliest which would help in restoration of peace and tranquility along the LAC in the Western Sector and enable progress in bilateral relations, the statement added.
The Defence Ministry further said that “the two sides agreed to maintain the security and stability on the ground in the Western Sector.”
The two sides also agreed to stay in close contact and maintain dialogue through military and diplomatic channels and work out a mutually acceptable resolution of the remaining issues at the earliest.
The Corps Commanders of the two countries had earlier met on July 16th in which they agreed to cease forward deployments in Gogra-Hot Springs (PP-15) area in a phased, coordinated and verified manner resulting in the return of the troops of both sides to their respective areas.
In the July 16th meeting, it was agreed that all temporary structures and other allied infrastructure created in the area by both sides will be dismantled and mutually verified and that the landforms in the area would be restored to pre-stand-off period by both sides.
As per the agreement reached between the two countries in the 16th round of talks, the two sides agreed that the LAC in the PP-15 area will be strictly observed and respected by both sides, and that “there will be no unilateral change in status quo.”
The areas that still remain to be resolved in Eastern Ladakh are Demchok and Depsang where the Chinese have so far remained adamant.
The lingering border standoff in Eastern Ladakh has entered in its third year.
Altering the May 2020 status, the PLA has also carried out construction of infrastructure near the LAC to ensure long survival of troops in the high altitude area.