National Security Advisor Ajit Doval and Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi will hold talks for the second time this week on Friday (July 10) as part of easing border tensions between the two Asian neighbours that have been engaged in a bitter stand-off over the past few weeks, according to a report by NDTV.
China’s People’s Liberation Army on Thursday completed withdrawal of its troops from two more face-off sites in Gogra and Hot Springs in eastern Ladakh in line with the mutually agreed disengagement process with India. The two sides are now expected to hold another round of diplomatic talks on the border row on Friday.
The report said the disengagement process had started after the first round of the Working Mechanism for Consultation and Coordination (WMCC) talks on July 5. Now, the report said quoting sources that India will focus on dismantling the structures erected by the Chinese troops and restoring status quo ante.
Quoting an unnamed senior government official, it said, “With cautious optimism, we would be moving forward and would be reviewing the overall progress made on ground.” It said that while disengagement is complete at the face-off sites in Galwan, Gogra and Hot Spring areas, the process is in progress at the Pangong Tso Lake area.
The report said that the withdrawal of Chinese troops in the slowest in the fourth stand-off site, which is the Finger Area on the northern bank of Pangong Tso in Ladakh. The Chinese forces had erected bunkers and posts there. It said said that there is no fixed border near Pangong Tso, and Indian soldiers used to patrol until Finger 8 position.
Meanwhile, External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Anurag Srivastava said India remained convinced of the need for maintenance of peace and tranquility in the border areas and resolution of differences through dialogue, but at the same time asserted that the country is committed to ensuring its sovereignty and territorial integrity.
At an online media briefing, he said the LAC must be strictly respected and observed as it is the basis for peace and tranquillity in border areas. Srivastava said Doval has categorically conveyed to the Chinese Foreign Minister on Sunday about India’s position on the recent developments along the LAC, including in the Galwan valley area.
Twenty Indian Army personnel were killed in a hand-to-hand combat in Galwan Valley on June 15, worsening the border tensions between the two countries, and prompting several rounds of talks, including at military and diplomatic levels. The Chinese soldiers used clubs and sticks to attack the Indian troops during the clash.
(With inputs from agencies)