India and China were holding Major General-level talks at Daulat Beg Oldie in eastern Ladakh today to discuss disengagement and de-escalation at the LAC amid heightened tensions over the PLA’s reluctance to withdraw from some of the friction points.
The fresh talks come after five rounds of meetings at the Corp Commander level – the highest military dialogue – since the stand-off started between troops of the two countries in early May.
The last military-level meeting had taken place on 2 August between Lt Gen Harinder Singh, the commander of the Leh-based 14 Corps, and Chinese Army’s Maj Gen Liu Lin, the commander of the South Xinjiang military region. Maj Gen Abhijit Bapat, General Officer Commanding of the 3 Mountain Division led the Indian delegation at today’s talks, sources said.
The main agenda of the talks is to address the situation at Depsang plains that has seen a big mobilisation by both sides.
At today’s meeting too, the Indian side insisted that Chinese troops must complete the disengagement process and restore the status quo ante which existed in eastern Ladakh in early May.
Sources said India has not been happy with China’s continued reluctance to complete the disengagement process despite promising to do so at regular diplomatic and military-level talks.
Sources said it has been made clear to the Chinese side that a complete disengagement was a prerequisite for establishing peace and tranquility in the border areas between the two countries.
The Chinese army has deployed tanks, artillery guns along with a heavy presence of troops opposite Depsang. A similar deployment has been done by the Indian Army to match the Chinese mobilisation.
Till now in the military talks, the focus was on four friction points Patrol Points 14, 15 and 17A along with Pangong Lake.
While there has been a stalemate at Pangong Lake as China has come up with new fortifications between Finger 5 and 8 of the lake, there has been noticeable disengagement at other places.