Disputed lands.

Disputed lands.

Armies of India, China discuss de-escalation on Ladakh border

Both countries locked in 10-week-long standoff; Rajnath to visit Ladakh

Agency Report | New Delhi | 15 July, 2020 | 06:20 PM

Military delegates of India and China hold deliberations stretching for nearly 15 hours on the disengagement and de-escalation of troops and materials on their borders in eastern Ladakh, during which the Indian side asks PLA troops to completely withdraw from Pangong Lake and Depsang area.

The talks started at 11.30 am on Tuesday and ended only at 2 am on Wednesday.

Both the countries are locked in a 10-week-long stand-off at multiple points, hitherto unprecedented, along the border in Ladakh.

Before the parleys started, India’s main aim was to get the Chinese People’s Liberation Army remove its tanks, artillery and additional forces at Pangong Lake and Depsang areas.

The latest 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 held at the Chushul-Moldo border personnel meeting (BPM) point in eastern Ladakh on June 6.

It is the fourth meeting between the delegates. The third meeting between the two sides continued for almost 12 hours wherein India put out a strong message that PLA troops had not abided by the disengagement consensus.

Both the countries are engaged in military and diplomatic deliberation to de-escalate the tense situation in the border areas.

On Friday, a diplomatic meeting took place between both the countries delegates. The meeting of the Working Mechanism for Consultation & Coordination on India-China Border Affairs (WMCC) was held on July 10.

The Indian delegation was led by Joint Secretary (East Asia) from the Ministry of External Affairs, while the Director General of the Boundary and Oceanic Department of the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs led the Chinese delegation.

The two sides recalled the agreement reached between the two foreign ministers on June 17 as well as the agreement between two Special Representatives during their telephonic conversation on July 5, and reaffirmed that both sides will ensure complete disengagement of the troops along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) and de-escalation from India-China border areas for full restoration of peace and tranquility in the border areas in accordance with bilateral agreements and protocols.

They also agreed that for the overall development of bilateral relations it was essential to maintain enduring peace and tranquillity in the border areas.

The two sides also agreed to maintain the ongoing communication both at the diplomatic and military levels to ensure early resolution of the situation.

As many as 20 Indian soldiers and an unknown number of Chinese troops were killed on June 15 in a clash in the Galwan Valley.

Amid the ongoing tension at borders with China, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh will be visiting the eastern Ladakh region to interact with soldiers deployed in the hostile border area.

The minister would be flying from Delhi to Leh on July 17 and would also interact with the soldiers injured in the barbaric attack carried out by the Chinese People’s Liberation Army on June 15. In the attack, India lost 20 soldiers and the Chinese Army too had casualties, the figures still unknown.

Singh will also visit the forward locations where Indian troops are deployed. He would be accompanied by Indian Army Chief General Manoj Mukund Naravane.

Singh had earlier on July 3 planned to visit Leh, however, he had to drop it as Prime Minister Narendra Modi decided to visit the forward location in eastern Ladakh.

Currently, both India and China are engaged in military and diplomatic deliberation to de-escalate the tense situation at the border areas. The countries are locked in ten week long standoff at multiple points, hitherto unprecedented along the border.

On Tuesday both countries’ military delegates held deliberations about disengagement and de-escalation of troops and materials at the borders in eastern Ladakh for 15 long hours.

The talks started at 11:30 a.m. on Tuesday and ended up at 2 a.m. on Wednesday. Indian delegates asked Chinese People’s Liberation Army troops to completely withdraw from Pangong Lake and Depsang.

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

This is the fourth meeting between the delegates. The third meeting between the two countries’ delegates continued for almost 12 hours wherein India has put a strong message to the Chinese People’s Liberation Army troops that they have not abided by the disengagement consensus.

Also on June 22, Singh had gone to Russia for three days to carry out strategic business talks and also to attend the Victory Day Parade at Red Square in Moscow to commemorate the 75th Anniversary of Victory of the Soviet People in the Great Patriotic War of 1941-1945.

Singh had said that the India-Russia bilateral relationship is a special and privileged strategic partnership, the future of which remains strong. He reviewed India’s defence relationship in a meeting with Russia’s Deputy Prime Minister Yury Borisov. Russia had assured India that ongoing defence contracts will not be just maintained, but in a number of cases it will be taken forward in a shorter time. (IANS)