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India, China military commanders hold talks at Galwan area

Uneasy calm: The Pangong Lake in Leh district of Ladakh, one of the points of friction.

Uneasy calm: The Pangong Lake in Leh district of Ladakh, one of the points of friction.   | Photo Credit: AP

So far both sides have held five rounds of Major General level talks

In continuation of the ground level dialogue to resolve the ongoing stand-off on the border, India and China on Monday held talks at the Brigade Commander and Commanding Officer (CO) level in the Galwan area of Eastern Ladakh, defence sources said.

The talks were focused on de-escalation at Patrolling Points (PP) 14 and 17A, the sources asserted. 

Also read | Line of Actual Control | India-China: the line of actual contest

Ground-level military talks were on regularly to resolve the stand-offs and it was an incremental process, the sources stated on the stand-off that has entered the seventh week.

So far both sides have held five rounds of Major General level talks, of which two happened last week after the Corps Commander level talks on June 6. There have also been a series of talks at the Brigadier and Colonel levels. Meanwhile, the limited “disengagement” agreed by both sides was under way, the sources said.

However, there is no change in the massive build-up in depth areas on the Chinese side, the sources noted. In addition to moving into Indian held territory in some places, China had undertaken build-up of troops and deployed fighter bombers, rocket forces, air defence radars and jammers among others on their side. India would continue to maintain its build-up until China withdrew the build-up, the sources reiterated.

Army chief statement

Last Saturday, in the first acknowledgement of the stand-offs, Army Chief Gen. Naravane stated that troops of both sides were “disengaging” in a phased manner from the stand-off areas following the series of ground talks and a lot of disengagement had happened in the Galwan river area. At the Corps Commander talks, India had firmly conveyed its demand of restoring the status quo ante to pre-May 5 positions.

Beginning early May, the two sides were engaged in stand-offs at several locations at Ladakh, and at the Corps Commanders talks on June 6, both sides mutually agreed on five locations of conflict - Patrolling Point (PP) 14, 15, 17A, North bank of Pangong Tso and Chushul, and also on partial disengagement from some of these places. 

Army sources said that at the Galwan area, limited “disengagement” had began earlier and such limited de-escalation at PP 15, 17A and Gogra areas was agreed at the Corps Commander level.

All areas, except the Finger 4 area of Pangong Tso, were seeing some disengagement and could be resolved at the local level, the sources observed. Pangong Tso remains a major area of concern where Chinese troops have moved up to Finger 4 area and dug in on Indian territory. The next round of Corps Commander level talks have not been decided yet.

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Printable version | Jul 14, 2020 2:35:48 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/at-galwan-area-military-talks-on-between-india-and-china/article31832548.ece

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