Eastern Ladakh row: India, China hold 18th round of military talks

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NEW DELHI, 24 Apr: India and China held a fresh round of high-level military talks on Sunday with focus on resolving the remaining issues in eastern Ladakh as the border row enters the fourth year, people familiar with the matter said.

The 18th round of military talks took place ahead of Chinese Defence Minister Li Shangfu’s visit to India next week to attend a key meeting of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation being hosted by New Delhi under its presidency of the grouping.

Sunday’s military talks came around four months after the last round of the dialogue between the senior Army commanders of the two sides.

The talks were held at the Chushul-Moldo border meeting point on the Chinese side of the line of actual control (LAC) in eastern Ladakh, the people familiar with the developments said.

It is learnt that the Indian side insisted on resolving the issues at the remaining friction points of Demchok and Depsang in eastern Ladakh as soon as possible.

The Indian delegation at the dialogue was led by Lt Gen Rashim Bali, commander of the Leh-based 14 Corps that takes care of security along the LAC in the Ladakh sector.

In line with a decision taken at the 16th round of military talks, the two sides carried out disengagement from Patrolling Point 15 in the Gogra-Hotsprings area in September last year.

The corps commander-level talks were instituted to resolve the eastern Ladakh row. India has been maintaining that its ties with China cannot be normal unless there is peace in the border areas.

The eastern Ladakh border standoff erupted on 5 May, 2020 following a violent clash in the Pangong Lake area.

The ties between the two countries nosedived significantly following the fierce clash in the Galwan Valley in June 2020 that marked the most serious military conflict between the two sides in decades.

As a result of a series of military and diplomatic talks, the two sides completed the disengagement process on the north and south banks of Pangong Lake and in the Gogra area. (PTI)

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