India has asked China for “concrete and complete” troop disengagement from the ‘friction points’ at Pangong Tso, Chushul, and Gogra-Hotsprings and finalize the roadmap for de-escalation along the LAC in eastern Ladakh.
Indian and Chinese Corps Commanders held 13-Hour long Commander-level talks on Monday in Moldo. The two sides met after a month to discuss the ongoing standoff at the Line of Actual Control or LAC in Ladakh region. Both neighbors have engaged in three firing incidents along the LAC in the last 20 days.
The Sixth round of Corps commander level talks began at 9 Am in Moldo which lies in the Chinese side of LAC across the Chushul sector in Eastern Ladakh. The talks continued until 10 PM, at night.
The Indian side was represented by 14 Corps Chief Lt Gen Harinder Singh and Lt Gen PGK Menon, along with a Joint Secretary from the Ministry of External Affairs.
The talks were reportedly held to implement the five-point agreement which was signed by Indian Foreign Minister Jaishankar and his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi for a course of action to disengage and reduce tensions that have lasted for over 5 months.
Indian side reportedly asked the Chinese troops to pull back from all the friction points and the same will be reciprocated. The talks have taken place at the time when the Indian army has occupied six strategic points and major hill features that have given the Indian troops a vantage point against the Chinese People’s Liberation Army.
India maintains that since Chinese troops were the first to provoke, and should pull back if they seek reciprocation. Sources add that if China is not willing to go back to Status Quo Ante, Indian troops will be deployed for a long haul. The Indian side has already started gearing up and preparing for a long haul at the LAC ahead of the harsh winter months. The troops have been provided new accommodation keeping in mind the freezing winter conditions in the Ladakh region, tents that can sustain temperatures anywhere between minus 40 to minus 50 degrees.
Meanwhile, Indian Air Force’s recent induction of Rafale fighter jets have carried out sorties over Ladakh from a forward airbase around the high-altitude war zone.
The two sides have been at odds with each other since June when twenty Indian personnel were killed in a violent clash with the Chinese troops along the LAC in Ladakh. The incident was the biggest military confrontation in over five decades that significantly escalated the already volatile border stand-off in the region.