India, China to hold 11th round of talks for disengagement

India, China to hold 11th round of talks for disengagement

New Delhi, April 8, 2021

India and China will hold the 11th round of Corps Commander talks on Friday at Chushul to iron out differences for the next phase of disengagement in Eastern Ladakh.

The focus of the talks, being held after nearly two months, would be disengagement on other friction points like Gogra, Hot Springs and Depsang, after the Pangong disengagement agreed to by both the sides.

"Important that before the onset of summer, de-escalation is discussed. Both sides to need retreat to original positions for things to ease," said a senior Indian Army officer.

On February 20, Indian and Chinese militaries held the 10th round of military dialogue to de-escalate tension at the Line of Actual Control (LAC).

Indian military delegates were led by Lieutenant General P G K Menon, Commander of 14 Corps based in Leh.

They had met to discuss disengagement at friction areas like Hot Springs, Gogra and the 900 square km Depsang plains.

The build-up in Depsang was not being considered part of the current standoff that started in May last year as escalations here took place in 2013. India has insisted during recent military commander meetings to resolve all issues across the Line of Actual Control.

"The initial attempt will be to resolve Gogra and Hot Springs. Finding a solution to Depsang might be tricky and take longer," said the officer.

So far, the disengagement process on both banks of the Pangong Lake has taken place. It was on February 10 that China made an announcement that New Delhi and Beijing had agreed to disengage at Pangong Lake.

Indian Army team along with Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) team physically verified and re-verified disengagement at Pangong Lake.

As per the agreement, Chinese troops moved back to Finger 8 and Indian troops pulled back to the Dhan Singh Thapa post between Finger 2 and 3 of the north bank of Pangong Lake.

A temporary moratorium on military activities, including patrolling to the traditional areas was placed.

The mountain spurs jutting into the lake are referred to as fingers in military parlance. The north bank of the lake is divided into 8 fingers. India has claimed its territory till Finger 8 and China disputes it and claims its own territory till Finger 4.

India and China are engaged in a year-long standoff at the Line of Actual Control. The confrontations began on the north bank of Pangong Lake, both in the waters and the bank as Chinese incursions increased in early May last year.

IANS

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