India, China diplomat-level talks on Friday over Ladakh stand-off

Meanwhile, the Chinese army on Thursday completed moving back its troops from the face-off sites in Gogra and Hot Springs in eastern Ladakh

Ladakh, standoff

Indian and Chinese diplomats will hold talks on the disengagement process on Friday (July 10), in a first such diplomat-level interaction between the two Asian neighbours since the meeting between National Security Advisor Ajit Doval and China’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi earlier this week, reported Hindustan Times.

This round of Working Mechanism for Consultation and Coordination on Indo-China Border Affairs (WMCC) meeting would follow up Sunday’s talks during which the two sides agreed on an expeditious withdrawal of troops from all the standoff points to bring back peace and tranquility in the region. Doval and Wang are Special Representatives for boundary talks.

The WMCC is led by Naveen Srivastava, Joint Secretary (East Asia), Foreign Ministry and Director General of the Chinese Foreign Ministry, Wu Jianghao, the report said. The WMCC was set up in 2012 as an institutional mechanism for consultation and coordination for management of India-China border areas.

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The report said that tomorrow’s meeting is being held largely on account of Sunday’s talks, during which the two sides had agreed that military and diplomat-level discussions would continue on the issue.

Meanwhile, the Chinese army on Thursday completed moving back its troops from the face-off sites in Gogra and Hot Springs in eastern Ladakh in line with the understanding reached with the Indian Army, and the two sides are set to hold high-level military talks to further de-escalate tension in the region, people familiar with the development said.

Related news: Unless border dispute is resolved, expect more Galwans

They said both sides have completed creation of a buffer zone of three kms in three friction points of Galwan Valley, Gogra and Hot Springs as part of a temporary measure aimed at reducing the possibility of any confrontation. On Thursday, the PLA has totally pulled back its troops from Gogra (patrolling point 17), and with this, both sides have implemented the first phase of disengagement to avoid any friction, the people cited above said.

They said the entire focus now shifts to Pangong Tso area where there has been thinning out of troops from Finger area 4. India has been insisting that China must withdraw its forces from areas between Finger 4 and 8. They said the fourth round of corps commander-level talks between the two side are likely to take place in the next two-three days.

(With inputs from agencies)

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