“Maintenance of peace and tranquility on LAC [line of actual control] is essential to carry forward the development of these relationships,” a source in the Indian government told The Epoch Times.
“We conveyed that recent incidents in eastern Ladakh have inevitably impacted the development of bilateral relations. Therefore, an urgent resolution is in the interest of both countries,” the official said, adding that since 1976, when the nations resumed their bilateral relations, peace on the border was essential for developing the relationship.
The ministers had a “frank and constructive” discussion and agreed on five points to work out the tension that persists in eastern Ladakh, according to a joint press statement released on Sept. 10.
Relations between India and China suffered a serious setback with the killing of 20 Indian soldiers and an unknown number of Chinese soldiers in a clash on June 15, and the killing of a patrolling Indian soldier by a Chinese land mine on Aug. 29, both incidents occurring in the Himalayan border region of Ladakh. This was followed by an incident in which guns were fired into the air on Sept. 7 for which both sides blamed the other.
The event was described as the first exchange of fire between the two countries in 45 years.
The officials in their meeting on Sept. 10 agreed to not allow “differences to become disputes,” and that troops on both sides should continue to talk and disengage.
“The two foreign ministers agreed that the current situation in the border areas is not in the interest of either side,” the statement said.
— Vikram Misri (@VikramMisri) September 10, 2020
Meanwhile, the source in the Indian government said that India expressed “strong concern” about the deployment of Chinese troops with equipment along the LAC.
“Presence of such large troops is not in accordance with 1993 and 1996 agreements, and this has created flashpoints along the LAC. The Chinese side hasn’t provided any credible explanation for their deployment. Provocative behavior from China is a disregard for the maintenance of border areas,” the source said.
The joint statement also highlighted discussions about abiding by the existing protocols and agreements to resolve the conflict on the border.
Just three days before the firing-in-the-air incident on the line of actual control, the defense ministers of the two countries, Rajnath Singh of India and Wei Fenghe of China, had also met in Moscow on the sidelines of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization meeting.
“He [Singh] emphasized that the actions of the Chinese troops, their aggressive behavior and attempts to unilaterally alter the status quo, were in violation of the bilateral agreements and not in keeping with the understandings reached between the Special Representatives of two sides,” according to a Sept. 5 statement from India’s Ministry of External Affairs.
The government source told The Epoch Times on Sept. 11 that India won’t sit idly by if there’s any attempt by China to change the “status quo unilaterally.”
“We also emphasized that Indian troops have scrupulously followed all protocols to the management of border areas. The immediate task is to ensure the disengagement of troops in all section areas to be done to prevent any untoward incident in the future,” the source said, adding that the final locations of troop deployment and how to go about the process of disengagement are to be worked out by military commanders.
Following the escalating tensions on the LAC and the killing of its soldiers, India has taken several measures to counteract the Chinese regime.
These include banning 59 apps including Tik Tok in late July and further banning 118 Chinese apps on Sept. 2 including the popular video game, PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds, which has 50 million players in India.