NEW DELHI: India and China are holding the 8th round of military commander-level talks on the Indian side of Chushul-Moldo border post in eastern Ladakh. The talks began at 9:30 am on Friday (November 6) in Chushul
The talks are crucial and New Delhi hopes for partial disengagement at some friction points along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in eastern Ladakh.
PTI quoted official sources as saying that the Indian Army will press for comprehensive disengagement of troops by the Chinese PLA from all the friction points in eastern Ladakh at the talks.
Nearly 50,000 Indian Army troops are currently deployed in a high state of combat readiness in various mountainous locations in eastern Ladakh in sub-zero conditions as multiple rounds of talks between the two sides have not yielded concrete outcome to resolve the six-month-long military standoff.
The Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) has also deployed an equal number of troops, according to officials.
The last round of Corps Commander-level talks had taken place on October 12 but there was no breakthrough on the disengagement of troops from the friction points. The standoff between the two sides erupted in early May.
External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar recently said the ties between India and China have come under severe stress and that the agreements inked by both sides on management of the border must be respected “scrupulously” in their “entirety” to restore normalcy in relations.
The Indian delegation at the eighth round of military talks will be led by Lt Gen PGK Menon, the newly-appointed Commander of the Leh-based 14 Corps.
A joint press statement by the two armies after the last round of talks said both sides agreed to maintain dialogue and communication through military and diplomatic channels to arrive at a mutually acceptable solution for disengagement as early as possible.
India has all along been maintaining that the onus is on China to carry forward the process of disengagement and de-escalation at the friction points in the mountainous region.
Following the sixth round of military talks, the two sides announced a slew of decisions including not to send more troops to the frontline, refrain from unilaterally changing the situation on the ground and avoid taking any actions that may further complicate matters.