After an over year-long standoff, “forward movement is expected” in the Gogra and Hot Springs area of Eastern Ladakh following the 12th round of corps commander-level talks between India and China on Saturday, according to a report.
Sources told The Print website that after the nine-hour talks, the shortest corps commander-level talks since the stand-off began in May 2020, field commanders from the two countries agreed to jointly work out the modalities agreed by their higher-ups.
“We may expect forward movement,” a source told The Print.
The source said that the forward movement is expected in Gogra and Hot Springs.
Both sides once again agreed not to build up troop presence along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) or undertake any activity that may escalate tensions.
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Another source said that a “graduated disengagement” is likely to take place. A formal joint statement is expected to be issued by India on Monday or Tuesday.
During the talks, led on the Indian side by 14 Corps Commander Lt Gen PGK Menon, India insisted that disengagement was necessary before the two countries opt for de-escalation.
This was contrary to what China had said during the last corps commander-level talks in May.
The sources said the Chinese were more receptive to India’s views this time around.
De-escalation before disengagement would be an advantage for China as it can move troops back to the frontline much faster than India due to better infrastructure on its side of the frontier.
India also raised the issue of Depsang Plains and sought restoration of patrolling rights. This is because China has been blocking Indian patrols to Patrolling Points 10, 11, 11A, 12 and 13.
The reason why forward movement was expected in the Gogra and Hot Springs area was that China had already agreed to do so on two occasions last year.
The first agreement was reached during the first corps commander-level officers meeting on June 6, 2020, but it culminated in the June 15 Galwan Valley clash as the Chinese refused to fulfil their part of the agreement.
Following the clash, another agreement was reached and the Chinese did withdraw some troops from the Gogra and Hot Springs areas. They, however, did not complete the process.