(This News Article Was Originally Posted on Hindustan Times)
India and China have resumed diplomatic dialogue on Friday, December 18, after a gap of nearly 11 weeks to resolve the ongoing border standoff in the Ladakh sector.
Diplomats from both sides are holding a virtual meeting under the Working Mechanism for Consultation and Coordination on Border Affairs (WMCC) where they are likely to discuss disengagement of troops, thousands of whom have dug in on either side of the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in sub-zero conditions.
The last WMCC meeting was held on September 30 the 19th overall since the mechanism was set up in 2012 which had failed to take forward the negotiations focussed on troop disengagement.
Confirming the Friday talks, diplomatic sources in Beijing said the focus of the negotiation will be on troop disengagement.
A virtual address to be delivered by Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister, Wang Yi, at an online event organised by the Mumbai-based Asia Society Indian Centre.
He is expected to talk on the ongoing crisis in Sino-India bilateral ties, triggered by the eight month-long military standoff.
Between September 30 and now, the two sides have held military level dialogues, which too failed to take the disengagement process forward.
India on Thursday had called for further discussion with China to reach a “mutually acceptable solution” on complete disengagement at all friction points on the LAC.
It is our expectation that further discussions will help both sides to achieve an agreement on a mutually acceptable solution for ensuring complete disengagement in all friction points along the LAC in the Western sector and full restoration of peace and tranquillity as early as possible.
At the end of the last virtual WMCC meet on September 30, both the Indian statement and a readout in Mandarin from China’s foreign ministry said the two sides “positively evaluated” the outcome of the sixth military commanders’ meeting on September 21.