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Friday, April 19 2024
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India, China hold first border talk after Doklam standoff

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New Delhi: In the wake of the standoff between Indian and Chinese troops at Doklam region in Bhutan earlier this year, officials from both sides discussed border-related issues at the 10th round of the Working Mechanism for Consultation and Coordination (WMCC) on India-China Border Affairs in Beijing on Friday.

“The talks were held in a constructive and forward-looking manner,” the External Affairs Ministry said in a statement here.

“Both sides reviewed the situation in all sectors of India-China border and agreed that maintenance of peace and tranquility in the border areas is an important prerequisite for sustained growth of bilateral relations,” it stated. “In this regard, the two sides also exchanged views on further confidence building measures and strengthening of military-to-military contacts.”

The meeting comes after Indian and Chinese troops were locked in an over two-month-long standoff at the Doklam plateau in Bhutan.

The crisis, which erupted in June over Chinese moves to build a road in an area claimed by Bhutan, ended in August, with both sides deciding to “disengage” from the face-off point.

Earlier this month, Beijing protested Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman’s visit to Arunachal Pradesh but New Delhi reasserted that the northeastern state was an integral part of India.

In the meeting, the Indian delegation was led by Pranay Verma, Joint Secretary (East Asia), in the Ministry of External Affairs, while the Chinese side was led by Xiao Qian, Director General, Department of Asian Affairs, in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs

The two delegations comprised diplomatic and military officials from each side, according to the ministry statement.

WMCC was established in 2012 as an institutional mechanism for consultation and coordination for the maintenance of peace and tranquility in the India-China border areas, as well as to exchange views on strengthening communication and cooperation, including between their border security personnel.

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