LEH: India and China held two days of military talks in an “open and constructive manner” for an early and mutually acceptable resolution of the remaining issues along the Line of Actual Control in eastern Ladakh and agreed to maintain peace on the ground.
A statement issued on Wednesday by the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) on the 20th round of military talks on October 9 and 10 provided no indication of a breakthrough to end the lingering standoff in the remaining friction points.
It is learnt that in the talks, the Indian side strongly pressed for resolution of the lingering issues at Depsang and Demchok.
The MEA said the two sides agreed to maintain the momentum of dialogue and negotiations through the relevant military and diplomatic mechanisms.
The latest round of the Corps Commander level talks was held at Chushul-Moldo border meeting point on the Indian side of the Line of Actual Control (LAC).
“The two sides exchanged views in a frank, open and constructive manner for an early and mutually acceptable resolution of the remaining issues along the LAC in the Western Sector, in accordance with the guidance provided by the national leadership of the two countries, and building on the progress made in the last round of Corps Commanders’ meeting held on August 13-14,” the MEA said.
“They agreed to maintain the momentum of dialogue and negotiations through the relevant military and diplomatic mechanisms,” it said in a statement.
“They also committed to maintain peace and tranquillity on the ground in the border areas in the interim,” it added.
The government refers to eastern Ladakh as the Western Sector. It was the second such occasion when the talks panned two days.
In the 19th round of talks too, both sides agreed to resolve the remaining issues along the LAC in eastern Ladakh in an expeditious manner.
The Indian and Chinese troops are locked in an over three-year confrontation in certain friction points in eastern Ladakh even as the two sides completed disengagement from several areas following extensive diplomatic and military talks.
The Indian delegation at the talks was headed by Lt Gen Rashim Bali, the Commander of the Leh-headquartered 14 Corps while the Chinese team was led by the commander of the South Xinjiang military district.
India has been maintaining that its ties with China cannot be normal unless there is peace in the border areas.
The eastern Ladakh border standoff erupted on May 5, 2020, following a violent clash in the Pangong lake area.
The ties between the two countries nosedived significantly following the fierce clash in the Galwan Valley in June 2020 that marked the most serious military conflict between the two sides in decades.
As a result of a series of military and diplomatic talks, the two sides completed the disengagement process in 2021 on the north and south banks of the Pangong lake and in the Gogra area. (PTI)
- December 5, 2023