Beijing: China today said it is ready to explore new “ways and approaches” with India for peace at the borders as officials of the two countries held working mechanism border talks for the second day here today.
“We are ready to make joint efforts with the Indian side to explore ways and approaches to safeguard peace and tranquillity in the border areas,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang told a media briefing while replying to question about reported proposal by China for a code of conduct for the two armies to defuse tensions arising out from patrolling of the disputed areas.
“We will enhance our coordination, consultation and cooperation on border related affairs,” Qin said.
An Indian delegation headed by Gautam Bambawale, Joint Secretary, East Asia of the Indian External Affairs Ministry held the sixth round of the Working Mechanism for Consultation and Coordination for the second day.
The mechanism which was formed in 2012 came in handy to deal with the crisis arising from Chinese troops’ incursions at the Depsang valley in April last year near the Line of Actual Control (LAC) during which the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) troops pitched their tents.
It was eventually resolved with the withdrawal of the Chinese contingent followed by the landmark Border Defence Cooperation Agreement (BDCA) signed during the visit of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh here last year.
China proposed a code conduct for the militaries in addition to the standard operating procedures outlined in the BDCA which reportedly figured in the current round of talks.
There was no word yet from Indian officials on the outcome of the dialogue.
Qin said details of the talks would be released after they conclude tomorrow.
“Both China and India attach great importance to maintaining peace and tranquillity at the border areas,” he said.
“Over recent years in accordance with the bilateral relations as well as the actual conditions at the border areas, we have taken positive steps in safeguarding tranquillity and peace in the border areas and we have reached series of agreements including the agreement on border defence cooperation,” he said.
“All this has played a very important role in promoting our mutual trust as well as stability in border areas,” he said. A visit by Chinese Defence Minister Cheng Wanquang to India has been planned later this year while the two countries have also planned their annual military exercises in India.
Indian naval vessel INS Shivalik took part in recent 65th celebrations of Chinese People’s liberation Navy (PLAN) held at Qingdao port in China.