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India, China hold 5th round of military talks

Senior military commanders of India and China are holding a fresh round of talks on Sunday with an aim to ensure expeditious disengagement of troops from all the friction points along the Line of Actual Control in eastern Ladakh, military sources said.

It is the fifth round of corps commander-level talks in nearly two months with an aim to defuse the border tensions triggered by a violent clash between the two militaries in Pangong Tso area in eastern Ladakh on May 5.

The meeting was scheduled to start at 11 am in Moldo on the Chinese side of the Line of Actual Control (LAC).

The sources said the Indian side will insist on total withdrawal of Chinese troops from the Finger areas in Pangong Tso at the earliest besides completing the disengagement process on a couple of other friction points.

The previous round of corps commander-level talks took place on July 14 and lasted for nearly 15 hours.

In the talks, the Indian side had conveyed a “very clear” message to the Chinese army that the status quo ante must be restored in eastern Ladakh and it will have to follow all mutually agreed protocols for border management to bring back peace and tranquility in the area.

The Indian delegation also apprised the China People’s Liberation Army (PLA) about the “red lines” and conveyed that the onus was largely on China to improve the overall situation in the region.

After the talks, the Army said both sides are committed to “complete disengagement” of troops, adding that the process is “intricate” and requires “constant verification”.

The Chinese military has pulled back from Galwan Valley and certain other friction points but the withdrawal of troops has not moved forward from the Finger areas in Pangong Tso as demanded by India, sources said.

India has been insisting that China must withdraw its forces from areas between Finger Four and Eight. The mountain spurs in the area are referred to as Fingers.

On July 24, India and China held another round of diplomatic talks on the border issue.