India, China to hold corps commander level talks on border row on Oct 12
India and China will hold corps commander-level talks on October 12, the seventh round, in eastern Ladakh sector in their latest attempt to address the ongoing military standoff between the two countries, officials familiar with the developments said on Sunday.
Both sides had held the last round of talks on the border standoff on September 21, which remained inconclusive as Indian negotiators firmly demanded comprehensive disengagement at all flashpoints and restoration of status quo ante as the only approach towards de-escalation. Bejing had asked New Delhi to withdraw its soldiers from strategic heights on the southern bank of Pangong Tso to reduce friction.
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A joint statement, released in New Delhi and Beijing on September 22, said the two sides agreed to stop sending more troops to the front line and to hold the seventh round of commander-level talks “as soon as possible, take practical measures to properly solve problems on the ground, and jointly safeguard peace and tranquillity in the border area.”
Lieutenant General Harinder Singh and Lieutenant General PGK Menon, who represented the army headquarters, took part in the sixth rounds of talks. Menon is set to replace Singh as the commander of the Leh-based 14 Corps soon as the latter will be completing his term next month. Singh has been leading the military talks with China to reduce border tensions. He took charge of the corps in October 2019.
The sixth round of military dialogue at Moldo on the Chinese side of the LAC across the Chushul sector also had, for the first time, involved the participation of a joint secretary-ranked officer from the ministry of external affairs as a step to ensure that the talks yield a positive outcome. The Working Mechanism for Consultation and Coordination (WMCC) on border affairs, the diplomatic dialogue between the two countries, involves a representative of the Indian defence ministry.