India on Thursday said it expects China to work towards an early resolution of all the remaining issues in eastern Ladakh, days after military talks to end the 17-month border row ended in stalemate.
External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said the Indian side had put forward constructive suggestions during the 13th round of military talks but the Chinese side was not agreeable to them.
The talks were held at the Chushul-Moldo border point on the Chinese side of the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in eastern Ladakh on Sunday.
“We expect the Chinese side to work towards an early resolution of all the remaining issues along the Line of Actual Control in eastern Ladakh while fully abiding by bilateral agreements and protocols,” Mr Bagchi said at a media briefing.
He was replying to a question on the military talks.
A day after the nearly eight-and-half-hour negotiations, the Indian Army said that the “constructive suggestions” made by it were neither agreeable to the Chinese side nor it could provide any “forward-looking” proposals.
“The meeting thus did not result in resolution of the remaining areas,” it had said.
The Chinese PLA’s Western Theatre Command said that India insisted on “unreasonable and unrealistic demands adding difficulties to the negotiations”.
In his comments, Mr Bagchi said the two sides have agreed to maintain communications and to maintain stability on the ground which he described as “positive” development.
He said resolution of issues in remaining areas and restoration of peace and tranquillity in the region would facilitate progress in the overall bilateral ties between the two countries.
Mr Bagchi said India is looking forward to continuing to engage with China on the issues.
On Saturday, Chief of Army Staff Gen MM Naravane said if the Chinese military continues with its large-scale deployment in the eastern Ladakh region, then the Indian Army too will maintain its strength on its side which he said is “as good as what the PLA has done”.
The two sides held the 12th round of talks on July 31. Days later, the two armies completed the disengagement process in Gogra, which was seen as a significant forward movement towards the restoration of peace and tranquillity in the region.
The border standoff between the Indian and Chinese militaries erupted on May 5 last year following a violent clash in the Pangong lake areas and both sides gradually enhanced their deployment by rushing in tens of thousands of soldiers as well as heavy weaponry.
As a result of a series of military and diplomatic talks, the two sides completed the disengagement process in the Gogra area in August and in the north and south banks of the Pangong lake in February.
Each side currently has around 50,000 to 60,000 troops along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in the sensitive sector.