New Delhi: Senior commanders of Indian and Chinese army held tenth round of military talks to discuss and take forward the disengagement process at friction points like Hot Springs, Gogra and Depsang in eastern Ladakh on Saturday (February 20).
The tenth round of talks came two days after both the armies concluded the withdrawal of troops and weapons from North and South banks of Pangong Tso in the high-altitude region, official sources revealed.
This round of Corps Commander-level talks began at 10 in the morning and went on till 9:45 in the night at the Moldo border point on the Chinese side of the Line of Actual Control (LAC), PTI reported.
The sources also revealed that in the talks, India has insisted on a faster disengagement process in areas like Hot Springs, Gogra and Depsang to bring down tension in the region, which was the result of standoff between the two militaries for over nine months.
"The focus of the talks is on carrying forward the disengagement process. Both sides have met to discuss modalities for it," said a source. The priority of the talks was to bring down the tension.
India has maintained and acknowledged disengagement at all the friction points was necessary to de-escalate the situation in the region.
Earlier, on February 11, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh had announced in the Parliament that both the countries have reached an agreement on disengagement in the North and South banks of Pangong lake which mandates both sides to "cease" forward deployment of troops in a "phased, coordinated and verifiable" manner.
“Under the agreement, China will pull back its troops to the east of Finger 8 areas in the northern bank of Pangong lake while the Indian personnel will be based at their permanent base at Dhan Singh Thapa Post near Finger 3 in the region.
Similar action would take place on the southern bank of the lake as well,” he had said.
The disengagement process began on February 10 and as per the latest reports, troops of both sides have retreated to positions that were agreed upon.
The tenth round of disengagement talks was led by Lt Gen PGK Menon, the Commander of the Leh-based 14 Corps from India’s side and Maj Gen Liu Lin, the commander of the South Xinjiang military district of the People's Liberation Army (PLA) headed the Chinese side.
The Defence Minister, in his statement in the Parliament, had also mentioned that senior commanders of both sides will be meeting 48 hours after the completion of the disengagement in the Pangong lake areas to address and resolve the remaining issues.
Meanwhile on Friday, China for the first time confirmed that five Chinese military officers and soldiers were killed in the bloody clash at Galwan Valley in eastern Ladakh with the Indian Army in June 2020, the acknowledgement came from the People's Liberation Army (PLA) officials.
Five Chinese frontier officers and soldiers stationed in the Karakoram Mountains have been recognised by the Central Military Commission of China (CMC) for their sacrifice in the border confrontation with India.
The border standoff between the Indian and Chinese militaries erupted on May 5, 2020 following a violent clash in the Pangong lake areas and both sides gradually enhanced their deployment by rushing in tens of thousands of soldiers as well as heavy weaponry even as the two sides continued military and diplomatic talks.