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LAC standoff | In Army talks, India and China exchanged disengagement proposals

An army convoy moves on Manali-Leh highway, in Manali. File   | Photo Credit: PTI

At the Corps Commander talks last week, India and China made broad proposals for disengagement in Eastern Ladakh and another round of talks is likely to take place later this week to discuss them further, an official source said on Monday.

“Broad proposals have been made by both sides and they will be discussed in another round of senior commander talks likely later this week,” the source stated. Discussions were on to finalise the dates for the next round of talks.

Also read: Interpreting the India-China conversations

The proposals are being discussed at the highest levels in the government, including the apex group on China policy, the China Study Group.

China has deployed around 50,000 troops along with tanks, armoured vehicles and air defences along the disputed boundary since the stand-off began in early May that has been matched by India.

Also read: India won’t accept shifting of LAC, says Gen. Bipin Rawat

Another official said there was an effort to pull back some of the vehicles and armoured components.

“The Chinese had suggested mutual withdrawal to certain distance behind, but that is not acceptable to us as it would put us in a disadvantage”, a third source said.

Through harsh winter

With several rounds of military and diplomatic talks remaining inconclusive, both sides have built habitats and stocked up essentials to house the thousands of troops through the harsh winter. With passes still open, vehicle movement was still on and winter stocking was almost complete, but once the passes close, sustenance for forward areas would be only through air, the third source noted.

In addition, since the Indian Army occupied several dominating features that were lying vacant on the South Bank of Pangong Tso (lake) in August, China has been pressing for discussing South Bank first and other friction areas later. However, this has been rejected by India.

A joint statement stated that both sides agreed to “earnestly implement” the important consensus reached by leaders of the two countries, ensure their “front line troops to exercise restraint and avoid misunderstanding and miscalculation.”

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Printable version | May 7, 2021 1:39:27 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/lac-standoff-in-army-talks-india-and-china-exchanged-disengagement-proposals/article33059752.ece

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