Fourth round of talks with China today
The fourth round of corps commander-level talks between India and China will be held on Tuesday at Chushul in eastern Ladakh to resolve the ongoing border standoff between the two sides, sources in the defence ministry said.
The talk is scheduled to start at 11.30am and it will take place on the Indian side of Chushul along the Line of Actual Control (LAC).
As part of the disengagement operation agreed upon between the two sides, Pangong Tso and Depsang plains are the two points where the People’s Liberation Army has not shown any intent so far to back off from the Indian claimed lines. These two friction points are likely to figure prominently during the talks.
Some progress had been made though at Patrolling Point 14, the face-off site of June 15 in which 20 soldiers were killed, and Hot Springs where both sides are reported to have moved back 1.5km by creating buffer zones.
The move has raised concerns among veterans and security officials who have questioned the creation of buffer zones within Indian territory, which they say amounts to territory loss for the Indian Army.
Sources said the Indian Army is also likely to conduct physical verification of the two points — PP-14 and Hot Springs — in the next few days to ascertain the exact ground reality.
The disengagement process on June 15 agreed upon between the two sides during the first round of corps commander-level meeting on June 6 had gone awry when 20 Indian soldiers were killed and at least 76 injured at the Galwan Valley during the clash with the Chinese troops inside the Indian side of the LAC.
“The two sides are expected to finalise a roadmap for restoration of peace and tranquillity in the high-altitude region that has witnessed a ninth-week bitter standoff between the two armies,” a defence ministry official said.
Despite the two sides holding talks to diffuse tension, the two armies continue to mobilise troops along the disputed LAC.