New Delhi had asked Beijing to “sincerely implement” the understanding on troop withdrawals reached by senior military commanders of the two sides

Indian and Chinese frontline troops have completed disengagement at most locations at the border, China said on Tuesday, adding that preparation is on to hold the next round of military-level talks to settle the remaining issues.

The Chinese foreign ministry was seemingly giving an update on the disengagement of border troops following last Friday’s three-hour-long meeting of the Working Mechanism for Consultation and Coordination (WMCC) on border affairs, which had met to review the situation in the border areas and the disengagement process in the western sector of the Line of Actual Control or LAC.

Differences between India and China on the disengagement process emerged after New Delhi asked Beijing to “sincerely implement” the understanding on troop withdrawals reached by senior military commanders of the two sides.

On Tuesday, responding to a specific query on whether Indian and Chinese soldiers had completed disengagement at Galwan Valley, Hot Springs and Gogra areas, spokesperson, Wang Wenbin said disengagement was completed in most areas.

“Recently, China and India have conducted intensive communication through military and diplomatic channels. We have held four rounds of commander-level talks and three meetings of WMCC,” Wang added.

“Now the frontline border troops have completed disengagement in most locations and the situation on the ground is easing,” he said.

“Now we are preparing for the fifth round of commander-level talks to study the settlement of the remaining issue. We hope India will work with China to implement our consensus and uphold peace and stability along our border areas,” Wang added.

Following last Friday’s WMCC meeting, a statement from the external affairs ministry had said that the two sides agreed “it was necessary for both sides to sincerely implement the understandings reached between senior (military) commanders in their meetings till date”.

At the WMCC meeting, India focused on the need for China to completely withdraw its forces from key friction points in East Ladakh in keeping with commitments made at the meetings of the corps commanders and the July 5 phone conversation between the two Special Representatives on the border issue, people aware of the developments had told Hindustan Times in New Delhi.

It is still not clear whether Beijing is looking at the disengagement of troops in the same way.

The Chinese statement on the same WMCC meeting, issued in Beijing in Mandarin, referred to “positive progress made by the frontline border defence forces of the two countries to disengage and ease the situation on the ground”.