China, India compromise on ‘cooling the crisis’ after the Ladakh clash
China and India decided to mitigate tensions a week after battles in the Ladakh area left more than 20 Indian troops dead and more than 70 injured in intense, hand-to-hand combat.The battle of June 15, reportedly fought with fists, clubs and rocks, was the first time that troops had been killed on their borders since 1975 and marked a major deterioration in ties between the two Asian giants.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian said that, following talks between the top regional military commanders on Monday, both sides “agreed to take the necessary measures to promote a cooling down of the situation.”The Press Trust of India said that the meeting was between Lieutenant General Harinder Singh, Commander of the 14 Corps, and Major General Liu Lin, Commander of the Tibet Military District.
“The holding of this meeting shows that both sides want to deal with their disagreements, to manage the situation and to de-escalate the situation through dialog and consultation,” Zhao said at a regular news conference.Zhao stated that the two sides “exchanged frank and in-depth views” and “agreed to sustain dialog and mutually dedicated themselves to maintaining stability and tranquility in border areas.”
There was no official comment from New Delhi, but an Indian army source said that after the meeting, which allegedly lasted almost 11 hours, there was a “mutual consensus on disengagement.”He added that the ways to minimize tension in the Ladakh area opposite Tibet “were explored and would be sought by both sides.”
China has confirmed that it has incurred damages, but has not provided further information. Indian media reports suggested that there were more than 40 casualties on the Chinese side.The meeting between the military commanders was followed by virtual talks between the foreign ministers of India, China and Russia later Tuesday, apparently to discuss the coronavirus.