Indian and Chinese military commanders will hold a fresh round of negotiations on Sunday (Aug 2) for ‘complete disengagement’ on friction points like Pangong Tso in eastern Ladakh.
The meeting scheduled to start at 11 am is currently underway at a designated meeting point in Moldo on the Chinese side of the Line of Actual Control. This is the fifth round of corps commander-level talks to diffuse escalating tension at the border. Besides withdrawal of forces and weapons from the rear bases of the two militaries, the key focus of this round is expected to be finalising a framework for total disengagement of troops from friction points.
India and China are engaged in a standoff near the Line of Actual Control since the deadly clash between soldiers of Indian and China at Galwan Valley on June 15, which left 20 Indian soldiers martyred.
The formal process of disengagement of troops began on July 6, a day after a nearly two-hour telephonic conversation between National Security Advisor Ajit Doval and Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi on ways to bring down tension in the area.
The Chinese military has already pulled back from the Galwan Valley and certain other friction points but the withdrawal of troops has not moved forward from Finger areas in Pangong Tso as demanded by India.
India has been insisting that China must withdraw its forces from areas between Finger Four and Eight. The mountain spurs in the area are referred to as Fingers.
Earlier on July 22, China deployed around 40,000 troops in the Eastern Ladakh hours after Defence Minister Rajnath Singh complimented the Indian Air Force for its rapid deployment of assets at forward locations in response to the border row with China.
On July 24, the two sides held another round of diplomatic talks on the border issue.
After the talks, the Ministry of External Affairs said both sides agreed that an early and complete disengagement of the troops along the LAC in accordance with bilateral agreement and protocols was essential for overall development of bilateral relations.
The sources said India conveyed a firm message to the Chinese side that it has to implement the disengagement process as agreed to during the four rounds of corps commander-level talks between the two militaries.
(With inputs from agencies)