India and China held the 16th round of Corps Commander level talks on Sunday for over 12 hours as the two sides attempted to revive the stalled process of disengagement and de-escalation in Eastern Ladakh.
Talks began at 09:30 a.m. on the Indian side at Chushul border personnel meeting point and ended around 10 p.m., an official source said on Sunday. The Indian side is led by Lt Gen Anindya Sengupta, 14 Corps Commander.
While an agreement for disengagement from Patrolling Point-15 was close by in the last few rounds of talks, China’s refusal to discuss other friction areas, Demchok and Depsang maintaining that they are not a part of the current stand-off, has stalled any progress. India has been insisting on comprehensive disengagement and de-escalation to end the ongoing standoff in eastern Ladakh.
Since the stand-off began in May 2020, the two sides have so far held 15 rounds of talks with disengagement undertaken from both sides of Pangong Tso in February 2021, and from PP 17 in the Gogra-Hot Springs area in August, in addition to Galwan in 2020 after the violent clash. The 15th round of Corps Commander talks took place on March 11, 2022. These have also been talks at the political and diplomatic level.
Shortly after the 15th round of talks in March, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi had visited India while he and Foreign Minister S. Jaishankar met last week on the sidelines of the G-20 Foreign Ministers meeting in Bali where they discussed the situation along the Line of Actual Control (LAC).
Over 50,000 troops and heavy equipment continue to be deployed on both sides close to the LAC. In the last two years, China has also undertaken massive construction of infrastructure, habitat and support structures to maintain the troops close to the LAC, altering the ground status.