India Reiterates Call For Early Disengagement By China
New Delhi: India on Wednesday pressed for an early disengagement of troops in the remaining friction points in eastern Ladakh at the 14th round of military talks with China, sources in the security establishment said.
The fresh round of Corps Commander-level talks took place at the Chushul-Moldo border point on the Chinese side of the Line of Actual Control in eastern Ladakh, they said. The main focus of the talks was to carry forward the disengagement process at Hot Springs (Patrolling Point 15), the sources said. The talks that began at 9:30 am ended around 10:30 pm.
"The 14th round of the Corps Commander level talks is underway, and I am hopeful that you shall see further developments in the days ahead. But while there has been partial disengagement, the threat has by no means reduced," Army Chief Gen MM Naravane said on Wednesday while addressing a press conference ahead of the Army Day.
The Indian delegation at the talks was led by Lt Gen Anindya Sengupta, the newly-appointed Commander of the Leh-based 14 Corps.
The Chinese team was to be headed by South Xinjiang Military District Chief Maj Gen Yang Lin.
The Indian side also insisted on disengagement as soon as possible in all the remaining friction points including resolution of issues in Depsang Bulge and Demchok. The 13th round of talks had taken place on October 10 and they ended in a stalemate.
Both sides failed to make any headway in the talks with the Indian Army saying after the dialogue that the "constructive suggestions" made by it were neither agreeable to the Chinese side nor it could provide any "forward-looking" proposals.
The fresh talks are taking place days after India hit out at China for building a bridge across Pangong lake in eastern Ladakh and said it is in an area that has been under illegal occupation of that country for around 60 years.
Standoff in Ladakh
Last week, India also described China's renaming of some places in Arunachal Pradesh as a "ridiculous exercise" to support "untenable territorial" claims, asserting that the state has always been and will always remain an "inalienable" part of India.
In their virtual diplomatic talks on November 18, India and China agreed to hold the 14th round of military talks at an early date to achieve the objective of complete disengagement in remaining friction points in eastern Ladakh.
The eastern Ladakh border standoff between the Indian and Chinese militaries erupted on May 5, 2020, following a violent clash in the Pangong lake areas.
Both sides gradually enhanced their deployment by rushing in tens of thousands of soldiers as well as heavy weaponry.
As a result of a series of military and diplomatic talks, the two sides completed the disengagement process last year in the north and south banks of the Pangong lake and in the Gogra area. Each side currently has around 50,000 to 60,000 troops along the Line of Actual Control in the sensitive sector.