New Delhi: The China Study Group is set to meet later Monday evening to review the outcome of the 5th round of corps commanders-level talks between India and China, which continued for 10 and a half hours Sunday and focused on the contentious disengagement in Pangong Tso in Eastern Ladakh.
Sources in the defence and security establishment said the talks began at the Moldo meeting point on the Chinese side at about 11 am and lasted till 9.30 pm — comparatively shorter than the earlier one that took place on 14 July and lasted nearly 15 hours.
The sources remained tightlipped about the outcome of the Sunday meeting, saying 14 Corps Commander Lt Gen Harinder Singh had left for Leh in the morning, and that there would be subsequent de-briefing at various levels.
They said focus of the talks was the disengagement at Pangong Tso, where the Chinese continue to remain in large numbers within 8 km into the Line of Actual Control on the Indian side, as was reported by ThePrint earlier.
Army Chief Gen M.M. Naravane is expected to brief Defence Minister Rajnath Singh later in the day before attending the China Study Group meeting in the evening.
Any statement by India on the talks will come only after discussion at various levels, said the sources.
Chinese build-up continues
Sources had earlier said Chinese build-up in the hinterland continues even as both sides are engaged in disengagement talks at the military, diplomatic and official levels.
Though India continues to insist on ‘April status quo’ during talks and in public statements, it looks more difficult now in comparison to when the stand-off started in early May.
“The Chinese are really not showing any kind of inclination to go back to the status quo ante. There has been disengagement in the Galwan Valley and Hot Springs area. However, there is no guarantee that the Chinese will not come back. Pangong Tso continues to be a trouble spot,” a source had told ThePrint.
The fear is that current positions could become the new status quo, something that Indian Army wants to avoid.
Critical areas where the Chinese continue to have an upper hand are the Pangong Tso and Depsang Plains areas.
India is going in for a number of emergency procurement, which includes weapons and high-altitude clothing for the over 30,000 extra troops deployed in forward locations because of the tensions with China.