India and China held the fourth round of Corps Commanders talks at Chushul on Tuesday to work out details on the second phase of disengagement on the Line of Actual Control (LAC). The talks were still on at the time of going to print. This round of talks come about a month after the violent clash at Galwan on June 15 which left 20 Indian soldiers dead .
The talks began around 11 a.m. on Tuesday, a defence source said, adding they would cover the entire eastern Ladakh. The focus of the talks is to work out details of further disengagement from the standoff areas and also withdraw the massive deployment by China of troops, tanks, artillery and air defences along the LAC, including at the strategically important Depsang Plains.
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Like in previous rounds of talks, the Indian delegation was led by Lt. Gen. Harinder Singh, commander of the Leh-based 14 Corps, and Chinese side by Major General Liu Lin, commander of the South Xinjiang military region. The earlier round of talks were held on June 6 , 22 and 30. While the first two round of talks were held on the Chinese side at Moldo, the third round was held on the Indian side at Chushul .
During the talks, India has consistently maintained restoration of status quo ante of April and complete withdrawal of massive deployment by China along the LAC. Last week, Indian and Chinese troops completed the first phase of disengagement from standoff areas in Galwan valley, Hot Springs and Gogra and also partial disengagement from Pangong Tso, where Chinese troops moved back from the base of Finger 4 to Finger 5. However, Chinese troops are still present on the ridge line of Finger 4.
At each place, Indian troops also moved back couple of kilometres following pull back by the Chinese troops as per consensus reached , creating a temporary buffer zone with only a small group of soldiers left to verify the disengagement. Another defence source said restoration of status quo at Pangong Tso is going to be tough and could take more rounds of talks.