India on Thursday hoped that further discussions with China will help both sides to achieve an agreement on a mutually acceptable solution for ensuring complete disengagement in all friction points along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in eastern Ladakh.
External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Anurag Srivastava told a media briefing the two sides continue to maintain communication through diplomatic and military channels and these discussions have helped both sides to enhance understanding of each other’s positions.
Asked about reports that at least one member of the Chinese Community Party was recruited by Indian consulate in Shanghai, Srivastava said he was not in a position to independently verify the information. “We have noted the media reports in this regard. We are not in a position to independently verify the data. In certain countries, hiring of local staff requires the approval of local authorities. However, all our missions and posts ensure due security precautions in this regard,” he said.
Responding to a media query on the matter, a Chinese embassy spokesperson said the allegation is “groundless”. Srivastava, when asked about the next round of Sino-India military and diplomatic talks on the over seven-month-long border standoff, did not give a direct reply but said India expects that further talks will help in reaching an agreement for complete disengagement of troops in eastern Ladakh.
“It is our expectation that the further discussions will help both sides to achieve an agreement on a mutually acceptable solution for ensuring complete disengagement in all friction points along the LAC in the Western sector and full restoration of peace and tranquillity as early as possible,” Srivastava said. Nearly 50,000 Indian Army troops are deployed in a high state of combat readiness in various mountainous locations in eastern Ladakh in sub-zero conditions as multiple rounds of talks between the two sides have not yielded concrete outcome to resolve the standoff.
China has also deployed an equal number of troops, according to officials. The standoff between the two sides erupted in early May. The last round of military talks had taken place on November 6 during which both sides broadly discussed disengagement of troops from specific friction points.