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S Jaishankar holds talks with Chinese counterpart Wang

New Delhi: External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar on Friday held wide-ranging talks with his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi.

Ahead of the talks, Jaishankar tweeted, “Greeted Chinese FM Wang Yi at Hyderabad House. Our discussions commence shortly.”

It was the first public comment by India on Wang’s visit.

The Chinese foreign minister arrived in Delhi on Thursday evening in the highest-level visit between the two countries after the ties came under severe strain following the military standoff in eastern Ladakh that began nearly two years ago.

Earlier,  National Security Adviser Ajit Doval and visiting Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi met and talk about  the eastern Ladakh row and the geopolitical implications of the crisis in Ukraine.

The border issue is understood to have figured prominently in the meeting between Wang and Doval as they have been serving as the Special Representatives (SR) for boundary talks between the two countries.

Doval and Wang held a lengthy telephonic conversation in July 2020 and the talks focused on bringing down tension in eastern Ladakh.

India and China have been holding high-level military talks to resolve the face-off in the remaining friction points in eastern Ladakh. Both sides withdrew troops already from some of the friction points following the talks.

On March 11, India and China held the 15th round of high-level military dialogue to resolve the pending issues in the eastern Ladakh region. However, there was no forward movement in the talks which were aimed at resolving the remaining issues.

The border standoff between the Indian and Chinese militaries erupted on May 5, 2020, following a violent clash in the Pangong lake areas.

The face-off escalated after the Galwan Valley clashes on June 15, 2020. As many as 20 Indian soldiers and an unspecified number of Chinese troops were killed in the clashes.

Both sides gradually enhanced their deployment by rushing in tens of thousands of soldiers as well as heavy weaponry.

As a result of a series of military and diplomatic talks, the two sides completed the disengagement process last year in the north and south banks of the Pangong lake and in the Gogra area. Each side currently has around 50,000 to 60,000 troops along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in the sensitive sector

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