Eastern Ladakh standoff: India, China to hold another round of high-level military talks today

New Delhi: With an aim to continue the disengagement process in the remaining friction points in eastern Ladakh, India and China will hold another round of high-level military talks on Sunday (October 10 2021), sources said. The 13th round of talks between the two countries since violent clashes last year will reportedly begin around 10:30 AM at the Moldo border point on the Chinese side of the Line of Actual Control (LAC).

The top commanders of the Indian and Chinese military had last met in July at the Chushul-Moldo border meeting point on the Indian side. The talks had reportedly lasted for nearly nine hours during which the two sides had agreed to resolve the remaining issues in an expeditious manner in accordance with the existing agreements and protocols and maintain the momentum of dialogue and negotiations.

“The two sides had a candid and in-depth exchange of views on resolution of remaining areas related to disengagement along the Line of Actual Control in the Western Sector of India-China border areas. The two sides noted that this round of meeting was constructive, which further enhanced mutual understanding. The two sides also agreed that in the interim they will continue their effective efforts in ensuring stability along the LAC in the Western Sector and jointly maintain peace and tranquility,” the Ministry of External Affairs had said in a statement.

The 13th round of talks is taking place in the backdrop of two recent incidents of attempted transgressions by China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA) troops — one in the Barahoti sector of Uttarakhand and another in the Tawang sector in Arunachal Pradesh. The Indian and Chinese army personnel were reportedly engaged in a brief face-off near Yangtse in the Tawang sector of Arunachal Pradesh last week and it was resolved within few hours following talks between commanders of the two sides as per established protocols.

In August, close to 100 soldiers of PLA soldiers had reportedly transgressed the LAC in the Barahoti sector and returned from the area after spending few hours.

Earlier on October 2, Army chief Gen Manoj Mukund Naravane had said that the increase in the deployment by Chinese troops across the border was a matter of concern. He, however, stated that India has made matching deployments in terms of troops and infrastructure in its areas along the LAC and there was no way anyone would be able to behave in an aggressive manner again.

This is to be noted that the border standoff between the Indian and Chinese militaries took place last year following a violent clash in the Pangong lake areas. Both sides then gradually enhanced their deployment by rushing in tens of thousands of soldiers as well as heavy weaponry.

Subsequently, as a result of a series of military and diplomatic talks, the two sides completed the withdrawal of troops and weapons from the north and south banks of the Pangong lake in line with an agreement on disengagement in February this year.

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