The fourth round of talks between India and China on Tuesday, 14 July, amid reports of disengagement between the two countries at at least three flashpoints in Ladakh, including the Galwan Valley, lasted for nearly 12 hours, reported The Indian Express.
The discussions happened between XIV Corps Commander Lt General Harinder Singh and Xinjiang Military Region Commander Major General Liu Lin. The point of discussion was likely disengagement at Pangong Tso, where Chinese troops are reportedly still present.
Both India and China are keen on “complete disengagement” said the army, a day after the talks.
"“India and China remain committed to the objective of complete disengagement. This process is intricate and requires constant verification. They are taking it forward through regular meetings at diplomatic and military level.”" - Indian Army Statement
This fourth round of talks between the Indian and Chinese militaries since the beginning of the stand-off in May was held at Chushul on the Indian side of Line of Actual Control, sources said, reported news agency PTI. Top sources in the army reportedly told The Indian Express that the talks included discussion on “more distances” and “presence of a lesser number of troops.”
"“Senior Commanders reviewed progress on implementation of first phase of disengagement and discussed further steps to ensure complete disengagement.”" - Indian Army Statement
On Sunday, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar, while speaking about disengagement process that began last week after a telephonic conversation between NSA Ajit Doval and Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi, said “it has just commenced, and very much a work in progress.”
"“We have agreed on the need to disengage because troops on both sides are deployed very close to each other. So, there is a disengagement and de-escalation process which has been agreed upon. It has just commenced, and very much a work in progress. So, at this point, I wouldn’t like to say more than that.”" - S Jaishankar as quoted by The Indian Express
Jaishankar was speaking on India Global Week, a three-day virtual event organised by a UK-based media house.
Meanwhile, on Friday, China’s ambassador Sun Weidong said, “Currently, our front line troops are disengaging on the ground in accordance with the consensus reached by the Military Corp Commander talks.”
Last week, a government official had shared details of the disengagement with The Hindu, saying that while China moved back 2 km from the clash point in Galwan Valley, India moved back 1.5 km and further, owing to this, India would not be able to patrol up to PP14 for at least 30 days where till now it was present.
According to reports, other points where the disengagement process is already over, are Hot Springs, or Patrol Point 15 and Gogra (Patrol Point 17A). However, government officials are yet to confirm these details.
(With inputs from ANI, The Indian Express, and The Hindu)
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