New Delhi, February 21:
Military commanders of India and China on Saturday discussed further disengagement at other friction points in eastern Ladakh along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in a meeting that lasted for nearly 16 hours.
The meeting of the corps commander-ranked officers, at Moldo on the Chinese side of the LAC to ease tensions in the Ladakh sector, began at 10am on Saturday and went on till 2am Sunday.
The 10th round of military dialogue comes a day after the Indian Army and China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA) on Friday completed the disengagement process at the tense Pangong Tso sector of Ladakh. Outstanding problems with the PLA at Depsang, Hot Springs and Gogra – friction points on the contested border – were on the agenda during Saturday’s meeting, people familiar with the development said.
“The proposals discussed during the talks to normalise the border situation will be put up by both sides before their higher authorities. The agreement on the next steps of disengagement will be finalised after that. We expect disengagement at the remaining friction points to proceed smoothly as it did in the main trouble area (Pangong Tso heights),” a person tracking the developments.
During the ninth round of talks, it was decided that the Chinese PLA will move its forces to the east of Finger 8 on the north bank while the Indian troops will move to its base near Finger 3, defence minister Rajnath Singh had told Parliament earlier this month, adding that the two sides have also agreed to temporarily suspend their regular patrolling activities on the north bank of Pangong Lake.
The Indian claim line extends to Finger 8, while the Chinese claim is up to Finger 4.
The India-China border standoff began last May and saw both sides deploy 50,000 troops each in the Ladakh theatre along with advanced weaponry. PLA’s deployments in Depsang have hindered access of Indian soldiers to Patrolling Points (PP) 10, 11, 11-A, 12 and 13, as previously reported by Hindustan Times. The Indian Army’s patrolling activity has also been affected in Hot Springs and Gogra, where rival troops are forward deployed and where skeletal disengagement took place last year.
Earlier this week, for the first time the Chinese army admitted that four of its soldiers were killed, and an officer was injured in the clash between the troops of both sides at Galwan Valley on June 15, 2020.