An Indian fighter jet flies over Leh, on June 25, 2020 (AFP)

NEW DELHI: With the border situation yet to cool down, India and China are looking to ramp up diplomatic dialogue under the Working Mechanism for Consultation & Coordination on India-China border affairs (WMCC) for de-escalation in eastern Ladakh and to address differences which have contributed to the existing situation.
Official sources here said these talks will now happen on a regular basis for implementation of the understandings the two countries have arrived at for de-escalation. Efforts were said to be underway to schedule another round of WMCC meeting as early as next week.
Both sides have agreed this mechanism, at India’s joint secretary-level, had to be used a lot more for maintaining peace and tranquility along the border. It has so far met 15 times, the latest meeting held virtually last week.
The WMCC was established in 2012 as an institutional mechanism for consultation and coordination for management of India-China border areas, as well as to “exchange views on strengthening communication and cooperation, including between the border security personnel of the two sides”.
The last meeting saw India expressing its concerns on the violent face-off at Galwan and emphasising that both sides needed to strictly respect and observe the LAC. India and China also reaffirmed that both sides should sincerely implement the understanding on disengagement and de-escalation that was reached by the senior Commanders on June 6.
India and China also have the high-level special representatives dialogue which seeks to achieve a fair, reasonable and mutually acceptable solution to the border issue. It’s also seen as important for maintaining peace and tranquility in the border areas for overall development of bilateral ties, pending the final settlement of the boundary. The 22nd round of this dialogue was held between NSA Ajit Doval and State Councillor Wang Yi last year.
The WMCC though has been seen in the past as important for effective border management as it has allowed both sides to review the situation in the border areas. India and China have used it also for taking note of regular exchanges at the troops level and at diplomatic level for maintaining peace in the border areas.
The two sides have also used it to review the progress made in effective implementation of various confidence building measures (CBMs) to further enhance mutual trust and understanding.

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