India, China Military-Level Talks End on Positive Trajectory
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman said that both sides are taking steps to ease the situation along the borders.
The military delegates of India and China met on Wednesday, 10 June, to deliberate upon the process of withdrawal of troops and the current standoff situation in Pangong Tso in Eastern Ladakh.
“The meeting ended on a positive trajectory and more similar meetings between both the countries' forces' delegates to take place,” said a source.
“Major General-level talks took place at the Chushul-Moldo on Wednesday about the ongoing de-escalation and the Pangong standoff situation,” said a senior government official, adding that during the meeting, discussion took place for further de-escalation in Ladakh.
The official further stated, “More talks expected at different levels in the days to come for complete de-induction and withdrawal of additional troop deployment close to the Line of Actual Control (LAC).”
In Beijing, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying said that both sides are taking steps to ease the situation along the borders.
“Recently the diplomatic and military channels of China and India held effective communication on the situation along the border and reached positive consensus. The two sides are following this consensus to take actions to ease the situation along the borders,” the spokesperson said.
China's remarks come a day after officials in New Delhi said that Indian and Chinese troops have started the process of de-escalation at the Line of Actual Control with withdrawal of troops, guns and combat vehicles from three standoff positions in Eastern Ladakh.
India's bone of contention of Chinese troop build-up at Finger 4 would be resolved eventually, the source pointed out.
De-Escalation After the 6 June Meeting
The withdrawal started after top military-level talks took place 6 June between India and China.
The meeting on 6 June lasted for around six hours in two phases. During the first half-an-hour, the delegation leaders had one-to-one meeting and that laid the basis for the second phase of talks.
The Indian military delegation was headed by the Commander of Leh-based 14 Corp, Lieutenant General Harinder Singh, while the Chinese side was headed by Major General Liu Lin, Commander of South Xinjiang Military Region.
For the next two hours, it was delegation-level talks where 12 members, including a translator, from the Indian side and the same number of people from the other side deliberated over the issue. After two hours, a lunch break was taken and then deliberations took place for four more hours.
Five main issues were discussed during the meeting. They included de-escalation of soldiers from four standoff points from both the countries. The four standoff points are Finger Four of North Bank of Pangong Lake, Patrolling Point 14 near Galwan Valley, Patrolling Point 15 and Patrolling Point 17-A.
These are the four points where troop concentration happened from both the armies across the LAC of either side. "No one crossed the Line of Actual Control as perceived by each other," the source added.
The three points of standoffs – Patrolling Point 14 near Galwan Valley at Darbuk-Shayok-Daulat Beg Oldie road in Galwan Valley, Patrolling Point 15 near Patrolling Point 14, and Patrolling Point 17-A, also known as hot springs – would be resolved during brigadier-level talks.
During the deliberations, it was decided that after 10 days, brigadier-level talks will begin for three patrolling points – PP 14, PP 15 and PP 17-A.
The important contention from the Indian side was Finger Four at the Pangong Tso Lake in Eastern Ladakh. This would be taken up at Lieutenant-General-level talks.
Sources said that India wanted a pre-8 May position. National Security Advisor Ajit Doval and his Chinese counterpart Yang Jiechi had talks over the standoff issue on 8 May.
The fifth agenda was about gradual de-escalation of military build-up near the Line of Actual Control on each side.
During the deliberations, India said that since China had started deployment of troops and big guns, and that it should start the de-escalation move to which it had agreed and started the process and accordingly India too started withdrawing its forces.
Clashes between Indian and Chinese troops happened several times between 5 May and 8 May. Thereafter, the Chinese increased deployment of troops and guns while the Indian Army, too, deployed forces and moved guns in equal numbers.
Now, both countries have decided to de-induct and de-escalate troops and guns and move backwards.
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