India and China have agreed to ease ongoing tensions at the border and accelerate the disengagement of troops.
The move comes following a diplomatic meeting between Indian Foreign Minister S Jaishankar and Chinese State Councillor Wang Yi at Moscow.
According to news reports, the two sides reached a five-point consensus that includes maintaining proper distance between troops, continuing discussions for disengagement, abiding by established agreements and working on confidence-building measures when the situation improves.
Since May, India and China have been engaged in a military standoff in contested territories along the line of actual control (LAC) in Ladakh.
The face-off occasionally intensified between the two sides. An incident in June killed 20 Indian soldiers with an undisclosed number of casualties on the Chinese side.
Recently, tensions escalated after the two sides accused each other of firing into the air, an act that violates an agreed protocol of not using firearms along the LAC.
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Following the meeting, a joint statement said: “The two foreign ministers agreed that the current situation in the border areas is not in the interest of either side.
“They agreed therefore that the border troops of both sides should continue their dialogue, quickly disengage, maintain proper distance and ease tensions.”
However, the five-month-long standoff led both militaries to increase troop deployment and equipment build-up across the disputed areas.
According to local media, China recently tested a new combat system that integrates armoured vehicles and drone swarms. The system will enable the forces to procure battlefield information and launch offensive attacks.
On the other hand, the Indian Army’s version of light utility helicopter (LUH) completed high altitude trials in hot weather. The LUH is now ready for initial operational clearance.
Recently, India also entered a mutual logistics support arrangement with Japan.