BEIJING, July 6. /TASS/. State Councilor and China’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi and National Security Advisor to the Prime Minister of India Ajit Doval in a phone call on Monday agreed to expedite the process of disengagement of troops near the border. As the Chinese Foreign Ministry’s statement runs, these measures will be implemented in order to normalize the situation as soon as possible and prevent future armed conflicts.
"The sides welcomed the contacts established between the defense agencies and the external affairs ministries, agreed to support such consultations in the future, and implement the agreements that were reached by the two sides during the talks between the border troops commanders, as well as to complete as soon as possible the process of frontline troop withdrawal," the document reads.
The Foreign Ministry noted that the sides also reached an agreement to implement measures in order to "prevent the reoccurrence of incidents which may influence the situation and peace in the border region."
"The relationship of China and India underwent various trials and their progress towards modern development was not always swift. As it had been recently demonstrated, correctly, and at the same time, incorrectly by the recent incident in the western sector of China-India border in the Galwan River valley, China will continue to assert its territorial sovereignty as well as peace and tranquility in the border region," mentioned China's top diplomat during the conversation. At the same time he noted that China hopes that the joint effort will help resolve the current difficulties and normalize the bilateral relations.
The sides expressed readiness to respect the agreements achieved previously by the heads of state, pay specific attention to the issue of state border and prevent "disagreements from becoming conflicts." The sides also confirmed their adherence to the earlier agreements on the state border and expressed readiness to implement measures to normalize the situation in the border region.
Situation at the border
The situation in Ladakh escalated after several clashes occurred there with the participation of some 250 Chinese and Indian troops in the beginning of May.
Overnight between June 15 and 16, on the union territory of Ladakh near the Galwan River, new skirmishes occurred between Indian and Chinese servicemen. According to sources in India’s armed forces, firearms were not deployed, however the sides used nail-studded clubs. At least 20 Indian soldiers were killed while 76 were wounded. At the same time the Indian authorities claim that about 45 Chinese soldiers were killed or wounded.
As the Indian NDTV channel reported on Monday, India and China conducted a mutual troop withdrawal from the disputed border territories, but it apparently concerned only the Galwan River valley on the union territory of Ladakh. According to the TV channel report, the sides are also taking down the temporary structures built in the border area and withdrawing from the Line of Actual Control which divides India and China. The sources do not indicate the distance of troop withdrawal.