India and China will hold another round of high-level military talks on Sunday with a focus on making some forward movement in the disengagement process in the remaining friction points in eastern Ladakh, government sources said.
The talks are scheduled to start at 10:30 AM at the Moldo border point on the Chinese side of the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in eastern Ladakh, the sources said on Saturday.
The Indian side is expected to seek disengagement as soon as possible in the remaining friction points besides pressing for resolution of issues in Depsang Bulge and Demchok.
The 12th round of talks had taken place on July 31. Days after the talks, the two armies completed the disengagement process in Gogra, which was seen as a significant forward movement towards the restoration of peace and tranquillity in the region.
The 13th round of talks is taking place in the backdrop of two recent incidents of attempted transgressions by the Chinese troops — one in the Barahoti sector of Uttarakhand and another in the Tawang sector in Arunachal Pradesh.
Indian and Chinese troops were engaged in a brief face-off near Yangtse in the Tawang sector of Arunachal Pradesh last week and it was resolved within few hours following talks between commanders of the two sides as per established protocols, people familiar with the development said on Friday.
Last month, close to 100 soldiers of China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA) transgressed the LAC in the Barahoti sector.
The transgression took place on August 30, and the Chinese troops returned from the area after spending few hours.
Chief of Army Staff Gen MM Naravne on Saturday said the military build-up by China in the eastern Ladakh region and new infrastructure development to sustain the large-scale deployment are a matter of concern.
He also said if the Chinese military maintains the deployment through the second winter, then it may lead to an LoC-like situation (Line of Control) though not an active LoC as is there on the western front with Pakistan.
The Indian delegation at Sunday’s talks is to be led by Lt Gen PGK Menon, the Commander of the Leh-based 14 Corps.
The border standoff between the Indian and Chinese militaries erupted on May 5 last year following a violent clash in the Pangong lake areas and both sides gradually enhanced their deployment by rushing in tens of thousands of soldiers as well as heavy weaponry.
As a result of a series of military and diplomatic talks, the two sides completed the disengagement process in the Gogra area in August.
In February, the two sides completed the withdrawal of troops and weapons from the north and south banks of the Pangong lake in line with an agreement on disengagement.
Each side currently has around 50,000 to 60,000 troops along the LAC in the sensitive sector.
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