New Delhi: China has still not agreed upon the dates for the next round of talks between the corps commanders of the People’s Liberation Army and the Indian Army, to discuss disengagement at Pangong Tso in Ladakh, ThePrint has learnt.
At Pangong Tso, China continues to physically dominate areas within 8 km of Indian territory, having come in from ‘Finger 8’ (where India considers the Line of Actual Control to be) until ‘Finger 4’, and defence sources said there has not been much change in positions, barring some reduction of troops at Finger 4.
When the Working Mechanism for Consultation and Coordination (WMCC) on India-China border affairs met on 24 July, it was decided to hold another corps commanders’ meeting, the fifth. The last corps commanders’ meeting took place on 14 July, and as reported by ThePrint, India and China had decided to give each other about a fortnight for disengagement.
Sources insisted that both sides are equally keen on talks.
Special Representatives might meet again
According to diplomatic sources, the Indian government has not ruled out holding one more round of talks between the two countries’ Special Representatives — National Security Advisor Ajit Doval and Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi. They last spoke on 5 July.
But, sources said that will happen only in the event the Chinese side does not go in for full disengagement within the time that has been agreed upon between the sides.
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The Ministry of External Affairs has said India is firm on its demand for an “early and complete disengagement of the troops along the LAC and de-escalation from India-China border areas in accordance with bilateral agreement and protocols and full restoration of peace and tranquility was essential for smooth overall development of bilateral relations”.
“There has been some progress made towards this objective, but the disengagement process has as yet not been completed. The senior commanders of the two sides will be meeting in the near future to work out steps in this regard,” MEA spokesperson Anurag Srivastava said during a media briefing Thursday.
Srivastava reiterated that China will work with India for a complete disengagement and de-escalation, thereby restoring peace and tranquillity, which is the basis of the bilateral relationship.
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