Talks with China positive, consensus on early disengagement, says Indian Army

The ninth round of talks between the Indian and Chinese armies to resolve the ongoing border standoff in eastern Ladakh was positive and the two sides have agreed for an early disengagement of troops, the Indian Army said in a statement.

“The two sides had a candid and in-depth exchange of views on disengagement along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in the Western Sector of China-India border areas,” the Army said a day after holding 11-hour-long military talks with China after a gap of over two-and-a-half months.

It said that both the sides have agreed that the latest round of meeting was “positive, practical and constructive”, which further enhanced mutual trust and understanding.

“The two sides agreed to push for an early disengagement of the frontline troops. 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,” it said.

The Army said that both India and China have agreed to continue their effective efforts in ensuring the restraint of the frontline troops, stabilize and control the situation along the LAC and jointly maintain peace and tranquility.

Sunday’s talks took place nearly two weeks after India handed back to China a soldier of the People’s Liberation Army after apprehending him at the southern bank of Pangong Tso in eastern Ladakh. It is learnt that India’s gesture has generated a positive atmosphere.

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

In the military talks, India has all along been demanding restoration of status quo ante in all areas of eastern Ladakh prior to April. The face-off had begun on May 5.

The statement comes hours after reports that Indian and Chinese troops were involved in a fresh clash in the high-altitude Naku La region in North Sikkim on January 20. The incident was described by the Indian Army on Monday as a “minor face-off”.

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