China-India diplomatic/military talks end in stalemate

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New Delhi, Dec. 30, 2020 Indian Defence Minister Rajnath Singh said on Wednesday that no “meaningful solution” had resulted from the diplomatic and military level talks with China to resolve their standoff in eastern Ladakh.

According to the Indian News Agency (ANI) the talks centred on resolving the disputed Line of Actual Control (LAC) and the “status quo” in eastern Ladakh.

The defence minister was quoted as saying that the next round of military talks would take place anytime, stressing, ”if status quo continues, there cannot be a reduction in the deployment of troops.”

Singh was referring to the virtual meeting of the Working Mechanism for Consultation and Coordination (WMCC) on India-China Border Affairs (WMCC) held earlier this month.

“It is true that in order to reduce the standoff between India and China, talks were taking place on a military and diplomatic level but no success has been achieved so far.

”There will be a next round of talks on a military level which can take place anytime, but no meaningful outcome has come and there is status quo.

“If there is status quo, it is natural how deployment can be reduced. There will be no reduction in our deployment and I feel their deployment will also not come down.

”I don’t think that status-quo is a positive development at all. Talks are on and they result in a positive outcome; that is our expectation,” he said

The defence minister further said that hotline messages had been exchanged.

“On what issues the talks will be held, an exchange of messages is taking place between the two countries,” he added.

He pointed out that the external affairs ministry had said after the WMCC meeting on Dec. 18 that both sides agreed to maintain close consultations at the diplomatic and military level.

Singh said they agreed that the next (9th) round of senior commanders’ meeting should be held at an early date.

This is to enable both sides work towards early and complete disengagement of troops along the LAC, in accordance with the existing bilateral agreements and protocols, to fully restore peace and security.

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