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India, China agree to set up a hotline as Jaishankar talks to Chinese Foreign Minister

India and China have been locked in a standoff in eastern Ladakh since May. The withdrawal troops and weapons from the North and South banks of Pangong Tso in the high-altitude region concluded last week.

February 26, 2021 / 10:23 AM IST

India's External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar spoke to his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi and reviewed the status of disengagement along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in Ladakh.

The two countries agreed to remain in touch and establish a hotline for the exchange of opinions between the two ministries, according to a statement by the Ministry of External Affairs on February 26.

The statement said that Jaishankar had a phone conversation with State Councillor and Foreign Minister of China Wang Y that lasted 75 minutes. The two foreign ministers discussed the situation along the LAC in Eastern Ladakh and also issues related to overall India-China relations, it said.

“Noting the completion of disengagement in Pangong Lake area, the minister emphasized that both sides should now quickly resolve the remaining issues along the LAC in Eastern Ladakh. He said that once disengagement is completed at all friction points, then the two sides could also look at broader de-escalation of troops in the area and work towards the restoration of peace and tranquillity,” the statement said.

India and China have been locked in a standoff in eastern Ladakh since May. The withdrawal of troops and weapons from the North and South banks of Pangong Tso in the high-altitude region concluded last week.

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Wang Yi, on his part, expressed satisfaction at the progress made so far. It was an important step forward for the restoration of peace and tranquility in border areas, he was quoted in the statement.

“He felt that both sides should make efforts to consolidate outcomes. It was also necessary to sincerely implement the common understanding reached various levels. He spoke about the need to improve management and control in the border areas,” the statement said.

In the conversation, Jaishankar referred to the meeting with the Chinese Foreign Minister in September 2020 in Moscow. A five-point agreement was reached between Jaishankar and Wang Yi at a meeting in Moscow on September 10 on the sidelines of a Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) conclave.

“Foreign Minister Wang Yi also noted that the Indian side had proposed ‘three mutuals’ (mutual respect, mutual sensitivity, and mutual interests) as the approach to the relationship. He also agreed on the importance of taking the long view of our ties. The two ministers agreed to remain in touch and establish a hotline,” the statement said.
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