Foreign ministers of India, China discuss situation on border

NEW DELHI, Jun 17 (Agencies): External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar on Wednesday spoke to his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi over phone and discussed the situation at Galwan Valley in eastern Ladakh where a violent clash broke out between the troops of the two countries on Monday night.
According to a Chinese Foreign Ministry statement, Wang Yi emphasised that both sides should strengthen communication and coordination to resolve their differences to maintain peace and tranquility along the border area.
The two sides agreed to deal fairly with the serious events caused by the conflict in the Galwan Valley, jointly abide by the consensus reached at the military-level meetings between the two sides, cool down the situation on the ground as soon as possible, and maintain peace and tranquility in the border area in accordance with the agreement reached so far between the two countries, the statement said.
The Indian Army on Tuesday said 20 soldiers, including a colonel, were killed in the clash on Monday night, in the biggest military confrontation between the two armies in over five decades.
According to unconfirmed reports, the Chinese side, too, suffered over 40 casualties.
A large number of Indian and Chinese troops have been engaged in an eyeball-to-eyeball situation in Galwan Valley and certain other areas of eastern Ladakh for the last five weeks, including in Pangong Tso, Galwan Valley, Demchok and Daulat Beg Oldie in eastern Ladakh.
A sizeable number of Chinese Army personnel even transgressed into the Indian side of the de-facto border in several areas including Pangong Tso.
The Indian Army has been fiercely objecting to the transgressions, and demanded their immediate withdrawal for restoration of peace and tranquillity in the area. Both sides held a series of talks in the last few days to resolve the row.
The India-China border dispute covers the 3,488-km-long LAC. China claims Arunachal Pradesh as part of southern Tibet, while India contests it.
Both sides have been asserting that pending the final resolution of the boundary issue, it is necessary to maintain peace and tranquility in the border areas.

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