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India and China will press ahead with military and diplomatic engagements in a bid to resolve a standoff along their disputed Himalayan frontier, the foreign ministry in New Delhi said Sunday.
The External Affairs Ministry said in statement that a meeting between Indian and Chinese military commanders at a border post in the Himalayan region on Saturday took place in a "cordial and positive atmosphere.”
"Both sides agreed to peacefully resolve the situation in the border areas in accordance with various bilateral agreements and keeping in view the agreement between the leaders that peace and tranquility in the India-China border regions is essential for the overall development of bilateral relations,” the statement said.
There was no immediate reaction from Beijing.
Indian officials say the standoff began in early May when large contingents of Chinese soldiers entered deep inside Indian-controlled territory at three places in Ladakh, erecting tents and posts. They said the Chinese soldiers ignored repeated verbal warnings to leave, triggering shouting matches, stone-throwing and fistfights.
India also mobilized thousands of soldiers.
China has sought to downplay the confrontation while saying the two sides were communicating through both their front-line military units and their respective embassies to resolve the issue.
The China-India border dispute covers nearly 3,500 kilometres (2,175 miles) of frontier that the two countries call the Line of Actual Control. They fought a bitter war in 1962 that spilled into Ladakh.
The two sides have been trying since the early 1990s to settle their dispute without success.
Troops remained on alert at the Galwan Valley in the Ladakh region of the western Himalayas three days after the clashes, in which India said China had also suffered casualties. China has not given details of any deaths or injuries among its troops.
Earlier, unconfirmed reports had put the number of Chinese dead as high as 45, and Lt. Gen. YK Joshi, who commands the Indian Army’s Northern Command, said Indian observers counted more than 60 Chinese troops being taken away on stretchers,
Hand-to-hand fighting on the Sikkim border in May last year set off the latest frontier tensions between the world's two most-populous nations.
The Indian and Chinese foreign ministers have agreed that their troops should disengage from a tense border standoff, maintain proper distance and ease tensions in the cold-desert Ladakh region where the two sides in June had their deadliest clash
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