India, China have agreed to hold 10th round of Corps Commander-level talks soon: MEA

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New Delhi, Jan 28 (PTI) India and China have agreed to soon hold the 10th round of Corps Commander-level talks to take forward the de-escalation process in eastern Ladakh, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said on Thursday.

India and China had last week agreed to push for an early disengagement of troops and resolved to continue 'effective efforts' to stabilise and control the situation in eastern Ladakh at their ninth round of military talks on the border standoff.

'It was said that both sides agreed to follow the important consensus of the leaders of the respective country and maintain the momentum of talks,' MEA spokesperson Anurag Srivastava said at a media briefing while referring to the joint statement issued after the ninth round of military talks.

He was asked about the status of negotiations on the border standoff.

Srivastava said it was also agreed during last week's military talks to soon hold the 10th round of Corps Commander-level dialogue to take forward the deescalation process.

In the talks, both sides held extensive deliberations on modalities for disengagement of troops from all the friction points in eastern Ladakh where the two militaries have been engaged in an eyeball-to-eyeball face-off for nearly nine months.

India has been maintaining that the disengagement process has to start simultaneously at all friction points and no selective approach was acceptable to it.

Close to 1,00,000 Indian and Chinese troops are deployed in eastern Ladakh as both sides have been holding on to their ground and showing readiness for a long-haul, amid continuing diplomatic and military talks to find an amicable solution.

In the military talks, India has all along been demanding restoration of status quo ante in all areas of eastern Ladakh prior to April. The face-off had begun on May 5.

Last month, India and China held another round of diplomatic talks under the framework of Working Mechanism for Consultation and Coordination (WMCC) on border affairs.

However, no concrete outcome emerged from the meeting.

Following the sixth round of military talks, the two sides had announced a slew of decisions including not to send more troops to the frontline, refrain from unilaterally changing the situation on the ground and avoid taking any actions that may further complicate matters.

This round was held with a specific agenda of exploring ways to implement a five-point agreement reached between External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar and his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi at a meeting in Moscow on September 10 on the sidelines of a Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) conclave.

The pact included measures like quick disengagement of troops, avoiding action that could escalate tensions, adherence to all agreements and protocols on border management and steps to restore peace along the LAC. PTI MPB SMN SMN