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China, India agree to diffuse tension: Chinese official

China, India agree to diffuse tension: Chinese official
Lt Gen Harinder Singh, the commander of the 14 Corps at an earlier meeting with Chinese military officials.
Beijing, Jun 23 | Publish Date: 6/23/2020 10:31:31 AM IST

Top Chinese and Indian military commanders have arrived at a consensus on the “outstanding issues” and agreed to take necessary measures to “cool down” the situation at their borders, the Chinese Foreign Ministry announced on Tuesday.

On Monday, Lt Gen Harinder Singh, the commander of the 14 Corps, held a nearly 11-hour meeting with Commander of the Tibet Military District Maj Gen Liu Lin in an attempt to lower the temperature between the two sides.

The talks were held in the midst of escalating tension between the two countries following the violent clashes in Galwan Valley last week that left 20 Indian Army personnel dead, significantly escalating the already volatile situation in the region.

Asked for the details at what transpired at the meeting of the top commanders held at the Chinese side of the Line of Actual Control, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said the two sides expressed the wish to control the situation through dialogue and consultation.

“On June 22, the Chinese and Indian border troops held the 2nd commander-level meeting at the border areas This is also the first commander level meeting since the Galwan Valley clash happened on June 15,” he said.

“This meeting showed that the two sides wish to control and alleviate the situation through dialogue and consultation.

“During the meeting and based on the consensus reached at the first commanders level meeting (on June 6), the two sides had a candid and in-depth exchange of views on the outstanding issues and agreed to take necessary measures to cool down the situation,” Zhao said.  

The two sides agreed to continue with the dialogue and jointly work for the peace and tranquillity of the border areas, he said.

To a question that Indian Army has stated that two sides have agreed to disengage the troops and whether he can confirm it, Zhao said “the specific measures are under discussion by the border troops of the two sides on the ground, I have no further information to release on this”.  

When asked about the Chinese casualties, he said “China and India are in dialogue and talks with each other to resolve this issue through diplomatic and military channels”.

“As for what you saw in the media, for example some people alleged that casualties on the Chinese amounted to 40. I can tell you for sure this is fake news”, he said.

This is the first time China has commented on the casualties. The spokesman, however did not elaborate. 

China terms reports of 40 PLA troops killed in Galwan clash as ‘fake news’

China on Tuesday broke its silence over its casualties in the June 15 clash between Indian and Chinese troops while terming as sure “fake news” reports that more than 40 Chinese soldiers were killed in the face-off in eastern Ladakh.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian, who repeatedly parried questions on the casualties suffered by the People’s Liberation Army since the incident occurred, reacted to the remarks of former army chief and Minister for Roads and Transport Gen (retd.) V K Singh who said, “if we lost 20 soldiers, more than double the number were killed on their [Chinese] side”.

Asked for his reaction on Tuesday at the media briefing, Zhao said. “China and India are in dialogue and talks with each other to resolve this issue through diplomatic and military channels”.

“As for what you saw in the media, for example some people alleged that casualties on the Chinese amounted to 40. I can tell you for sure this is fake news,” he said, without giving any further details.

This is the first time China has commented on the casualties.

Though China has not revealed its casualty figure, there were reports that a commanding officer of the Chinese army was among those killed in the clashes. There is no official confirmation about it.

Ever since the clash on June 15 at the Galwan Valley between the Indian and Chinese troops, Beijing has consistently declined to reveal the details of the casualties on its side, while the official media editorials have said that China too suffered casualties.

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