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India, China hold 16-hours-long talks on border issues
New Delhi, January 25, 2021
India and China held a 16-hours-long marathon military dialogue to resolve an ongoing border dispute and thinning of forces along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in Eastern Ladakh, government official said on Monday.
The ninth Corps Commander level talks between both the countries took place at the Moldo Meeting point almost two months after the last dialogue.
It started at 10.30 am on Sunday and ended at 2.30 a.m. on Monday.
Lieutenant General P. G. K. Menon, the Corps Commander of Leh-based HQ 14 Corps, led the Indian delegation. India has sought complete disengagement and withdrawal of forces from the disputed areas.
The military commanders are expected to convey the details of the meeting to the Prime Minister's Office.
A Ministry of External Affairs representative was also part of the dialogue.
The eighth Corps Commander-level talks had taken place on November 6. Though the talks had ended in a deadlock, both countries had agreed to maintain dialogue and communication through military and diplomatic channels, and take forward the discussions and push for the settlement of other outstanding issues, so as to jointly maintain peace and tranquillity in the border areas.
Indian Army chief General Manoj Mukund Naravane earlier this month had said the forces were ready for a long haul along the LAC but hoped for an amicable solution in the nine-month-long conflict with the Chinese People's Liberation Army.
"We are prepared to hold our ground where we are for as long as it takes to achieve our national goals and interest," General Naravane had said.
Since no thinning of troops happened, the soldiers of both the countries are poised to remain exposed to minus 20 degrees Celsius.
On August 30, India had occupied critical mountain heights on the southern bank of the Pangong Lake like Rechin La, Rezang La, Mukpari, and Tabletop that were unmanned till now. India also made some deployments near the Blacktop. The movement was carried out after the Chinese tried to make a provocative military move.
Now, dominance at these 13 peaks allows India to dominate Spangur Gap under Chinese control and also the Moldo garrison on the Chinese side.
At the height of the standoff, in a violent face-off last year between the two sides in Galwan Valley, India had lost 20 of her soldiers, while the Chinese side also lost an unknown number.