India, China to meet again in next few days to mutually withdraw troops from all stand-off sites
As the situation remains tense on the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in eastern Ladakh following the unprecedented clashes leaving 20 Indian Army personnel dead on June 15, senior military commanders of India and China held extensive talks on Monday to restore peace. There was no immediate breakthrough, but both the sides agreed to keep open all line of communication and meet again in the next few days to mutually withdraw troops from all the stand-off sites.
Leh-based 14 Corps chief Lt General Harinder Singh held parleys with Chinese Army Major General Liu Lin.
At the same time, the top brass of the Indian Army reviewed the fast-evolving situation on the border in the commanders’ conference here. Besides participating in the conference, Army Chief General MM Naravane is likely to visit Ladakh later this week. This will be his first visit post the bloody brawl. He had earlier visited Leh in mid-May to take stock of matters in the wake of the ongoing face-offs.
IAF chief RKS Bhadauria reviewed the operational readiness of his force during his two-day visit to Ladakh last week.
The two countries have also speeded up diplomatic process and senior officials of two countries are likely to talk to each other in the next two or three days. These proposed talks will give a positive push to the military-level talks to arrive at a consensus.
External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar last week lodged a strong protest with his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi about Chinese actions. However, both sides agreed to continue talks with Jaishankar asking Yi to honour the June 6 agreement.
On the latest round of Lt General level talks in Moldo at the LAC on Monday, sources said the focus was on defusing the tension as early as possible.
Incidentally, this was the second Lt General level meeting since June 6 in which both sides agreed to withdraw troops from the face-off points and operational areas. They also agreed to pull back their heavy weapons to peacetime locations as a confidence-building measure. The latest meeting was planned to review the pullback process.
The first round of Crops Commander talks on June 6 saw the two sides reaching important understanding on limited “disengagement”. Both sides mutually identified five locations of conflicts Patrolling Point (PP) 14, 15, 17A and North bank of Pangong Tso.
Initially, both sides started mutually moving back their troops gradually. The matters changed post-June 15 and
India has ramped up its troop strength all along the LAC from Ladakh to Arunachal Pradesh.
India also insisted that status quo ante as in April be observed at the LAC thereby making it imperative for China to move back its troops from all the sites including the Galwan valley.
Tuesday, 23 June 2020 | PNS | New Delhi
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