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India, China begin talks on border mechanism

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india china flagNEW DELHI: India and China on Thursday began their talks on border mechanism here during which last month’s standoff in Ladakh was discussed as also the efforts to prevent such incidents from recurring in future.
The two-day talks, held under the framework of Working Mechanism for Consultation and Coordination on India-China Border Affairs (WMCC), are being held to discuss various issues pertaining to the maintenance of peace and tranquility in the border areas, according to Indian officials.
They further said the meeting was mandated to discuss ways to prevent incidents like last month’s standoff between the armies of India and China.
Today’s meeting, the first interaction between the two sides after the new government in India took office, comes a day after China sharply reacted to India’s plans to construct a road network along the McMahon line in Arunachal Pradesh.
Chinese Government also expressed hope that India will not take any action which may complicate the situation before a final settlement is reached to end the boundary dispute and is expected to convey the same to the Indian side during the talks.
On India’s part, the Chinese incursion which lasted over three weeks last month in Demchok and Chumar remains a high priority concern.
The Chinese incursion had overshadowed the talks between Chinese President Xi Jinping and Prime Minister Narendra Modi last month when latter raised “serious concerns” over the repeated incidents along the border and sought an early settlement of the boundary question.
Established in 2012, the Mechanism has played a major role in addressing the issues arising of aggressive patrolling by both sides of the disputed border including last year’s standoff at Depsang Valley. Meanwhile, officials in Beijing said the meeting will focus on a number of issues of mutual interests concerning the boundary patrolling and management. The Mechanism is co-chaired by the Joint Secretary (in-charge of China Division) in the External Affairs Ministry and his Chinese counterpart. The mandate of the WMCC comprises Foreign Ministry and defence officials from both sides to discuss issues related to border management by both sides to maintain peace and not the boundary dispute which is discussed by Special Representatives. (PTI)

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