India and China emphasize need for stepwise de-escalation in LAC

The sources said that the ground situation on the Line of Actual Control (LAC) remains the same and “more military and diplomatic level talks will take place” in the coming days.

New Delhi: Amid the ongoing tension on the borders in eastern Ladakh, India and China have emphasised the need for an expeditious, phased and stepwise de-escalation as a priority, sources said on Wednesday.

The sources said that the ground situation on the Line of Actual Control (LAC) remains the same and “more military and diplomatic level talks will take place” in the coming days.

The emphasis was made during the third senior military commander-level engagement between both the countries on Tuesday.

The discussion took places over issues related to disengagement at the face-off sites along the LAC and de-escalation from the border areas.

The sources said that the meeting between two countries’ military delegates on Tuesday was long and held in a “businesslike manner keeping in view the Covid-19 protocols”. The talks went on for over 12 hours, starting at 10.30 am. ended at 11 pm.

The discussions reflected the commitment of both sides to reduce the tensions along the Line of Actual Control.

The sources said that more meetings are expected — both at the military and diplomatic levels — between India and China in future so as to arrive at mutually agreeable solution and “to ensure peace and tranquility along the Line of Actual Control as per bilateral agreements and protocols”.

“The process of disengagement along the LAC is complex and in such a context, speculative and unsubstantiated reports need to be avoided,” the sources said.

Both the delegations held talks in line with the agreement between External Affairs Minister and his Chinese counterpart during their conversation on June 17 that the overall situation would be handled in a responsible manner, and that both sides would implement the disengagement understanding of June 6 sincerely.

Commanders from the Chinese People’s Liberation Army and Indian Army held the meeting at Chushul on Indian side for talks on June 30, 2020.

Lieutenant General Harinder Singh, Commander of Leh-based XIV Corps, and South Xinjiang military chief Major-General Liu Lin met to discuss the disengagement of troops from the disputed areas.

The last two meetings at Corps Commander-level were held on June 6 and June 22.

New Delhi: Talks between the Indian and Chinese military delegates to resolve the border issue in Eastern Ladakh went on for around 12 hours, sources said.

The meeting which started at 10.30 a.m. ended at 11 p.m. on Tuesday night, the sources said.

It took place at Chushul wherein India has put a strong message that to China’s People’s Liberation Army troops have not aided by the disengagement consensus.

This is the third meeting between the two sides. The last two meetings at Corp Commander level were held on June 6 and June 22.

While Tuesday’s meeting was held in Chushul on the Indian side, the previous two took place in Moldo on the Chinese side.

“All contentious areas during the current standoff were discussed to stabilise the situation,” the sources added.

China has agreed to move back in Pangong Tso but they did not. India claims Line of Actual Control at Finger 8 and Chinese are sitting between at Finger 4 and Finger 5. Similar, differences exist in Depsang and Demchok.

On June 22, the talks took place for around 11 hours and the dialogue was held in a cordial, positive and constructive atmosphere and there was a “mutual consensus to disengage”.

“Modalities for disengagement from all friction areas in Eastern Ladakh were discussed,” the Indian Army had stated.

The meeting between 14 Corps commander Lieutenant General Harinder Singh and South Xinjiang Military District chief Major General Liu Lin took place on the lines of the one they held at the Chushul-Moldo border personnel meeting (BPM) point in Eastern Ladakh on June 6.

Also Major General level dialogue took place for three consecutive days after the barbaric attack at patrolling point 14 in Galwan valley on June 15 night where 20 Indian soldiers were killed.

The dialogue was carried out to ease out the tense situation and to release 10 Indian soldiers, including four officers, who were in Chinese captivity.

Major General Abhijit Bapat, who is the Commander of the 3 Division of the Indian Army, had raised several points with the Chinese with regards to the incident on the night intervening June 15/16.

June 15 was the first time the Indian Army faced casualties in a clash with the China’s People’s Liberation Army since 1975 when an Indian patrol was ambushed by Chinese troops in Arunachal Pradesh.

China is also said to have used thermal imaging drones to trace the Indian Army soldiers scattered on the treacherous terrain before brutally attacking them.

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