India and China sat for the diplomatic talks on the Working mechanism for Consultation & Coordination (WMCC) on Friday after more than 2 months with the top focus being disengagement and the next round of military talks.

A ministry of external affairs read out after the 20th round of WMCC said, both sides “agreed that the next (9th) round of Senior Commanders meeting should be held at an early date” so that they can “work towards early and complete disengagement of troops along the LAC”, something that New Delhi has been reiterating many times in the over 8 month-long standoff.

The read out explained, “The two sides agreed that based on the guidance provided by senior leaders and the agreements reached between the two Foreign Ministers and Special Representatives, they would continue to work towards ensuring complete disengagement in all friction points along the LAC in the Western Sector at the earliest.”

The talks happened virtually. The Indian side was led by Joint Secretary (East Asia), Ministry of External Affairs Naveen Srivastava and from the Chinese side, Director General of the Department of Boundary & Oceanic Affairs was present. The last such meet happened on September 30.

Chinese foreign ministry in its statement said both sides, “agreed to earnestly implement” the five-point consensus reached by the foreign minister of both the countries after the meeting in Moscow earlier this year and, “focused on the disengagement of front-line troops” and “take concrete measures to deal with the issues on the ground to further de-escalate the border situation.” The Chinese side also called for holding the “9th round of Senior Commanders Meeting as soon as possible.”

The next focus will be on the military round of talks. The last round of military talks happened on 6th November and since then the stalemate continues as forces from both sides remained stationed at the Line of actual control in Eastern Ladakh.

2020 saw an aggressive China, who not only violated the understanding and agreements with India on build-up but also indulged in action in Galwan Valley that killed 20 Indian soldiers in June.

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