‘Constructive talks’: India, China to push for early disengagement in Ladakh

The Indian Army and the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) agreed to push for an early disengagement of their frontline troops at frictions areas on the contested Line of Actual Control (LAC) in eastern Ladakh during the ninth round of military talks held on Sunday.

“They also agreed to follow the important consensus of their state leaders, maintain the good momentum of dialogue and negotiation, and hold the 10th round of the corps commander-level meeting at an early date to jointly advance de-escalation,” a joint statement stated.

Indian and Chinese military commanders held the ninth round of talks to defuse LAC tensions at Moldo on the Chinese side of the LAC at a time when frontline soldiers are deployed eyeball to eyeball at friction points on the LAC.

“The two sides agreed to continue their effective efforts in ensuring the restraint of the frontline troops, stabilize and control the situation along the LAC in the western sector of the China-India border, and jointly maintain peace and tranquillity,” the joint statement said.

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The statement added that the two sides had a “candid and in-depth exchange of views” on disengagement along the LAC in the western sector of India-China border areas. “The two sides agreed that this round of meeting was positive, practical and constructive, which further enhanced mutual trust and understanding,” it added. The ninth round of talks went on for 16 hours. Senior Indian and Chinese commanders had met on November 6 for the eighth round of military talks.

India has consistently pushed for comprehensive disengagement at all flashpoints and restoration of status quo ante of early April 2020 during the ongoing military talks. Until now, the Chinese side was insisting that the Indian Army first pull back troops deployed on strategic heights on the southern bank of Pangong Tso.

India has made all preparations to hold ground in Ladakh for an extended duration. On January 12, Army chief General Manoj Mukund Naravane said that the Indian Army was prepared to hold its ground in eastern Ladakh “for as long as it takes” to achieve national objectives in case the ongoing military and diplomatic talks with China are prolonged.

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