13th Round Of India-China Military Talks Today, Focus On Hot Springs

The talks are to focus on an agreement for the next phase of disengagement from Hot Springs and the overall de-escalation in eastern Ladakh.

13th Round Of India-China Military Talks Today, Focus On Hot Springs

The India-China border dispute covers the 3,488-km Line of Actual Control (Representational)

New Delhi:

The 13th round of high-level military talks between India and China to take forward the disengagement process in remaining friction points along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in eastern Ladakh begins today at Moldo on the Chinese side, opposite Chushul, a defence official said.

The talks are to focus on an agreement for the next phase of disengagement from Hot Springs and the overall de-escalation in eastern Ladakh.

Earlier this month, Indian soldiers engaged in a tense standoff with Chinese troops who transgressed in Arunachal Pradesh across the Line of Actual Control, sources told NDTV.

On August 30, close to 100 Chinese soldiers transgressed 5 km across LAC in Uttarakhand's Barahoti region, North of the Nanda Devi biosphere reserve, and returned after a few hours from the area guarded by the Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP), news agency PTI said.

Late last month, India told China not to "shift goalposts" and "confuse" managing the border affairs and restoring peace at the frontiers with the larger issue of the resolution of the boundary question, which is dealt with by different designated mechanisms.

Indian envoy to China Vikram Misri said the two nations must "steer clear of certain obstacles which could block progress".

"The first is to avoid shifting goalposts. For long, the Indian and Chinese sides have adhered to a well-understood distinction between resolving the boundary question and managing border affairs," Mr Misri said addressing the 4th High-level Track II Dialogue on China-India Relations on September 23.

Earlier this week, Army chief Gen Naravane had said the "unprecedented" military standoff with China required an immediate response and large-scale mobilisation of resources at a time when the country was faced with the coronavirus pandemic.

The border standoff between the Indian and Chinese militaries erupted on May 5 last year in eastern Ladakh following a violent clash in the Pangong lake area.

Both sides gradually enhanced their deployment by rushing in tens of thousands of soldiers as well as heavy weaponry.

There has been some disengagement, but India says only full disengagement will result in de-escalation.

As a result of a series of military and diplomatic talks, the two sides completed the disengagement process in the Gogra area last month.

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.

The India-China border dispute covers the 3,488-km Line of Actual Control.