India, China hold 10th round of talks, focus on further disengagement in Ladakh
India and China on Saturday held another round of military talks with a focus on taking forward the disengagement process in eastern Ladakh and bring down tension in the region, people familiar with the developments said.
The 10th round of talks between the senior military commanders took place two days after the completion of disengagement process between Chinese and Indian militaries in eastern Ladakh's Pangong Tso area.
The meeting started at 10 am at the Moldo border point on the Chinese side of the Line of Actual Control (LAC) and is continuing.
News agency PTI reported that the focus of the talks is on carrying forward the disengagement process. The Indian delegation is being led by Lt Gen PGK Menon, the Commander of the Leh-based 14 Corps. The Chinese side is headed by Maj Gen Liu Lin, the commander of the South Xinjiang military district of the People's Liberation Army (PLA), PTI reported.
The focus areas of these talks are outstanding problems with PLA at Depsang, Hot Springs and Gogra in eastern Ladakh.
Under the disengagement understanding, the outstanding issues related to deployment and patrolling at the three friction points were to be taken up within 48 hours of pullback of troops in the Pangong Tso area.
The Pangong Lake disengagement took place on strategic heights on both banks of the lake, and saw both armies pull back their frontline troops, tanks, infantry combat vehicles and artillery guns under an agreement reached earlier this month. The disengagement began on February 10.
In the nine rounds of military talks, India had specifically insisted on withdrawal of Chinese troops from Finger 4 to Finger 8 on the North bank of Pangong Lake. The mountain spurs in the area are referred to as Fingers.
Apart from these military commander talks, backchannel talks between National Security Advisor Ajit Doval and Chinese foreign minister Wang Yi, both special representatives on boundary resolution, is also expected to take place soon. These talks will ensure that no side unilaterally alters the status quo along the 3488-km long LAC and the status quo ante is restored on all points.
(With inputs from agencies)