With no forward movement at the latest round of Sino-India military talks on disengagement from the remaining areas in eastern Ladakh, the Chinese military has said that India should cherish the “current positive trend” of de-escalation and cooling down of tensions in the border area.
A day after the 11th round of Corps Commander-level talks that lasted for 13 hours, the Indian Army said in a statement on Saturday that both sides held a detailed deliberation on the disengagement of troops in the remaining friction points of Hot Springs, Gogra and Depsang in eastern Ladakh and agreed to jointly maintain stability on the ground, avoid any new incidents and resolve the outstanding issues in an “expeditious manner”.
There was no visible forward movement at the latest round of military talks between the two countries as the Chinese delegation came to the talks with a “premeditated mindset” and did not show any flexibility in moving forward on the disengagement process at the remaining friction points in eastern Ladakh, people familiar with the negotiations said in New Delhi on Saturday.
In its press release on the latest round of talks between two militaries held on April 9, China”s People”s Liberation Army (PLA) said India should cherish the de-escalation and cooling in the border area, in an apparent reference to the disengagement of troops from the most contentious area of the Pangong Lake in February.
Both sides should also adhere to the consensus reached in the previous talks, the state-run China Global Television Network (CGTN) on Sunday quoted the press release by a PLA spokesperson on the talks held at the Chushul border point on the Indian side of the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in eastern Ladakh.
“We hope the Indian side could cherish the current positive trend of de-escalation and cooling in the border area, adhere to the relevant agreements between the two armies and the consensus of the previous talks and move towards the same direction as the Chinese side to jointly maintain peace and tranquility in the border area,” a spokesperson for the Western Theater Command of the People”s Liberation Army (PLA) said in a statement. The Indian Army statement said it was highlighted at the talks that completion of disengagement in other areas would pave the way for considering “de-escalation of forces” and ensure full restoration of peace and tranquillity in the region.
The Indian delegation, led by Commander of the Leh-based 14 Corps Lt Gen PGK Menon, particularly insisted on resolving outstanding issues in Hot Springs, Gogra and Depsang. “The two sides had a detailed exchange of views for the resolution of the remaining issues related to disengagement along the LAC in eastern Ladakh,” the Indian Army said.
The two sides agreed on the need to resolve the outstanding issues in an expeditious manner in accordance with the existing agreements and protocols, the statement said. The two sides agreed that it was important to take guidance from the consensus of their leaders, continue their communication and dialogue and work towards a mutually acceptable resolution of the remaining issues at the earliest, it said.
“They also agreed to jointly maintain stability on the ground, avoid any new incidents and jointly maintain peace in the border areas,” the statement said. The border standoff between the armies of India and China erupted on May 5 last following a violent clash in the Pangong Lake areas and both sides gradually enhanced their deployment by rushing in tens of thousands of soldiers as well as heavy weaponry.
As a result of a series of military and diplomatic talks, the two sides completed withdrawal of troops and weapons from the North and South banks of Pangong lake in February in line with an agreement on disengagement. India has been insisting that a resolution of outstanding issues including in Depsang, Hot Springs and Gogra is essential for overall ties between the two countries.