Eastern Ladakh standoff: India, China to hold 13th round of military talks on October 10


NEW DELHI: India and China will hold another round of high-level military talks on Sunday with a focus on making some progress in the disengagement process in the remaining friction points in eastern Ladakh, government sources said.

Sources said on Saturday that the talks are scheduled to begin at 10:30 am at the Moldo border point on the Chinese side of the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in eastern Ladakh.

The Indian side is expected to press for resolution of the issues in Depsang Bulge and Demchok besides seeking dissolution of the remaining friction points at the earliest.

The 12th round of talks was held on 31 July.

A few days after the talks, the two armies completed the process of dissolution at Gogra, which was seen as an important forward movement towards the restoration of peace and tranquility in the region.

The 13th round of talks is taking place in the backdrop of two recent incidents of infiltration bids by Chinese troops – one in the Barahoti sector of Uttarakhand and the other in the Tawang sector of Arunachal Pradesh.

Indian and Chinese troops had a brief face-off last week near Yangtse in Tawang sector of Arunachal Pradesh and it was resolved in a matter of hours after talks between commanders of both sides as per established protocol. Acquaintances said Friday.

Last month, around 100 soldiers of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) of China violated the LAC in the Barahoti sector.

The breach took place on 30 August and the Chinese troops returned from the area after spending a few hours.

Chief of Army Staff General MM Naravane on Saturday said the development of new infrastructure to sustain the military build-up and large-scale deployment by China in the eastern Ladakh region is a matter of concern.

He also said that if the Chinese army maintains deployment even during the second winter, it could lead to a LoC-like situation (Line of Control), though not an active LoC as on the Western Front with Pakistan.

In Sunday’s talks, the Indian delegation will be led by Lt Gen PGK Menon, Commander of the 14 Corps based in Leh.

The border standoff between Indian and Chinese armies began on May 5 last year after violent clashes in the Pangong Lake areas and both sides gradually increased their deployment of thousands of troops as well as heavy weapons.

As a result of a series of military and diplomatic talks, the two sides completed the demilitarization process in the Gogra region in August.

In February, the two sides completed the withdrawal of troops and weapons from the northern and southern shores of Pangong Lake in line with an agreement on secession.

Each side currently has around 50,000 to 60,000 troops along the LAC in the sensitive area.

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