A meeting between military commanders of India and China is currently underway near the Chinese side of the Line of Actual Control to defuse tension along the de facto border between the two neighbours.
The Lieutenant General-level talks, which is being headed by two Lt Generals of the Indian Army, is being held near traditional Chinese Border Post in Moldo near eastern Ladakh, sources said. A Joint Secretary from the Ministry of External Affairs is also attending the meeting.
Indian and Chinese troops are engaged in a tense standoff along the LAC, especially in eastern Ladakh including the tourist draw Pangong Lake and at several other points in the rocky, mountainous region where the weather conditions are unforgiving.
Indian and Chinese military commanders have met several times before and after soldiers of the two sides were engaged in a violent face-off on June 15.
Today’s meeting is the sixth round of Corps Commander-level talks that focusses on implementing agreements reached between the two countries on disengagement and de-escalation in eastern Ladakh, news agency PTI reported quoting unnamed government sources.
For the first time, a joint secretary-level officer from the Foreign Ministry is part of the Indian delegation, the sources said, adding India is looking for some concrete outcome from the dialogue.
Both sides reached the agreement to resolve the border row at a meeting between Foreign Minister S Jaishankar and his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi on the sidelines of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) meet in Moscow on September 10.
The agreement 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.
The Indian delegation at the talks is set to be led by Lieutenant General Harinder Singh, Commander of the Leh-based 14 Corps, while the Chinese side is likely to be headed by Major General Liu Lin, commander of the South Xinjiang military region.
“In the talks, India will insist on complete disengagement of Chinese troops from the friction points at the earliest,” PTI quoted a source as saying.
The Army has made arrangements to maintain the current level of troops and weapons in all forward areas in eastern Ladakh and other sensitive high-altitude sectors in the harsh winter months when the temperature drops up to minus 25 degree Celsius, sources said.