India, China set to hold fifth round of commander-level talks today on LAC disengagement
Senior military commanders of India and China will hold a meeting in eastern Ladakh on Sunday in their fifth attempt to implement a disengagement plan and reducing tensions aggravated by a significant military build-up on both sides of the contested Line of Actual Control (LAC), people familiar with the developments said.
The meeting between corps commander-ranked officers will take place held at Moldo on the Chinese side of the LAC. It is expected to begin around 11 am.
The talks are expected to focus on the critical Finger Area and the strategic Depsang plains, they said. The Indian side is working on restore status quo ante (the situation as it existed in early April) along the LAC.
Northern Army commander Lieutenant General YK Joshi recently said that disengagement between forward deployed Indian and Chinese soldiers from friction areas along the LAC was a complex and intricate process that required diligent execution.
India and China lately failed to make a breakthrough in reducing border tensions despite intense negotiations at the military and diplomatic levels, and the disengagement process at some friction points virtually stopped.
Joshi said disengagement was initiated after four rounds of talks between senior Indian and Chinese military commanders, and it was being verified on the ground to “ensure its veracity and correctness.”
De-escalation of the border conflict will begin after complete disengagement.
The ground situation remains unchanged in the Ladakh sector where both armies have amassed almost 100,000 soldiers in their forward and depth areas.
During a visit to Ladakh on July 17, defence minister Rajnath Singh indicated that the negotiations to resolve military tensions along the LAC were complex. He said progress in negotiations should help resolve the border dispute but added that he “couldn’t guarantee to what extent the situation will be resolved.”