India and China hold 10th round of military talks; focus on further disengagement in eastern Ladakh

New Delhi, February 20

India and China on Saturday held another round of military talks with a focus on taking forward the disengagement process in Hot Springs, Gogra and Depsang in eastern Ladakh and bring down the tensions in the region, official sources said.

The 10th round of Corps Commander-level talks are taking place two days after the Chinese and Indian militaries completed the withdrawal of troops, weapons and other military hardware from the North and South banks of Pangong Lake areas as part of an agreement.

The meeting started at 10 am at the Moldo border point on the Chinese side of the Line of Actual Control and it was continuing, sources said.

They said India would insist on a faster disengagement process in remaining areas like Hot Springs, Gogra and Depsang to bring down tension in the region that has witnessed a tense standoff between the two militaries for over nine months.

“The focus of the talks is on carrying forward the disengagement process,” said a source.

On February 11, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh announced in Parliament that India and China reached an agreement on disengagement in the North and South banks of Pangong Lake that mandates both sides to “cease” forward deployment of troops in a “phased, coordinated and verifiable” manner.

Under the agreement, he said China would pull back its troops to east of Finger 8 areas in the northern bank of Pangong Lake while the Indian personnel would be based at their permanent base at Dhan Singh Thapa Post near Finger 3 in the region. Similar action would take place on the south bank of the lake as well, he said.

Sources said troops of both sides had retreated to positions that were agreed upon by both the sides.

The disengagement process began on February 10.

The Indian delegation at Saturday’s talks is being led by Lt Gen PGK Menon, the Commander of the Leh-based 14 Corps. The Chinese side was to be headed by Maj Gen Liu Lin, the commander of the South Xinjiang military district of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA). PTI



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