India, China to Hold Talks Till Total Disengagement Achieved: MEA

The military talks between India and China kicked off at Chushul on Friday to start de-escalation of forces.

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Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) official spokesperson Anurag Srivastava provided an update to the India-China border row, concerning the situation along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in Ladakh's Galwan Valley, and said that both the countries are maintaining close communication until complete disengagement is achieved.

“Both (India-China) sides continue to maintain close communication at the military and diplomatic levels to achieve complete disengagement along the Line of Actual Control (LAC),” said Srivastava.

Srivastava further added that the two sides are guided by the leaders and India will continue to maintain a dialogue with the Chinese side to arrive at a mutually acceptable solution to the current situation along the LAC in Eastern Ladakh.

The military talks between India and China kicked off once more at Chushul in Eastern Ladakh earlier today to resolve border dispute and start de-escalation of forces as soldiers were exposed to minus 20 degrees Celsius.

The eighth round of high-level military talks began at around 9:30 am in Chushul on the Indian side of the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in eastern Ladakh. For the first time, Lieutenant General PGK Menon lead the Indian military delegates during the talks.


Earlier, he attended two such talks, but the delegation was led by then Lieutenant General Harinder Singh who was transferred last month to the Indian Military Academy (IMA), where he would be in charge of training the future generations of Army officers.

Joint Secretary from the Ministry of External Affairs Navin Srivastava was also a part of the delegation.

"We have firmly stated to China that disengagement will happen at all friction points and not at the selected locations as they want. Our stand is clear," a top government source told IANS.

In a clear message to China, just ahead of talks to resolve border issue, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh said on Thursday that India is facing challenges on its borders and will defend its sovereignty and territorial integrity.

"India is a peace-loving country and that peace can only be ensured through the ability to deter war," Singh said, while speaking at a webinar celebrating the Diamond Jubilee to mark 60 years of the National Defence College in Delhi.

The minister said: "We believe that differences should not become disputes. We attach importance to the peaceful resolution of differences through dialogue. India is determined to protect its sovereignty and territorial integrity in the face of unilateralism and aggression, no matter what the sacrifice."


Disengagement to End 7-Month-Long Deadlock at LAC

Earlier, talks have ended up in deadlock with no sign of de-escalation of force at the Line of Actual Control.

Both the countries’ military top commanders met seven times in a bid to resolve the six-month long standoff. Last meeting happened on October 12, which also ended up in a deadlock.

Further, so far both the countries have agreed to maintain dialogue and communication through military and diplomatic channels, and arrive at a mutually acceptable solution for disengagement as early as possible.

On 30 August, India had occupied critical mountain heights on the southern bank of the Pangong Lake like Rechin La, Rezang La, Mukpari, and Tabletop that were unmanned till now. India has made some deployments near Blacktop as well. The movement was carried out after the Chinese tried to make a provocative military move.

Now, dominance at these 13 peaks allows India to dominate Spanggur Gap under Chinese control and the Moldo garrison on the Chinese side.

India and China are engaged in a nearly seventh-month-long standoff at the LAC.

Despite several levels of dialogue, there has not been any breakthrough and the deadlock continues.

(With inputs from IANS)

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