India-China discuss disengagement at 11th military commander level talks
New Delhi, Apr 10: The 11th round of the military commander level talks between India and China was held on Friday, with the next steps of disengagement being discussed.
The focus was on the disengagement at the Depsang plains, Gogra and Hot Springs, officials familiar with the matter tell OneIndia. The meeting was held on the Indian side of Chushul-Moldo meeting point at 10.30 am and ended at 11.30 pm.
The talks focused solely on the forward movement in disengagement of the armies in the Gogra Hot Springs in eastern Ladakh. The last time the military commanders met was on February 22. At the meeting both sides agreed to resolve outstanding issues.
Apart from the disengagement at the Gogra Hot Springs the two sides would also discuss restoration of patrolling rights in the Depsang Bulge area.
Last month, India said that it expects China to work with it through the existing bi-lateral consultation mechanisms between their diplomats and military commanders to ensure early completion of the disengagement process in the remaining areas in easter Ladakh to allow both sides to consider de-escalation of forces.
At the 10th round of the senior commanders'' meeting last month, India is learnt to have insisted on a faster disengagement process in areas such as Hot Springs, Gogra and Depsang to defuse tension in the region.
The border standoff between the Indian and Chinese armies erupted on May 5 last year following a violent clash in the Pangong lake area and both sides gradually enhanced their deployment by rushing in tens of thousands of soldiers as well as heavy weaponry.
Subsequently, 20 Indian soldiers were killed in a fierce hand-to-hand combat on June 15 in Galwan Valley, an incident that marked the most serious military conflicts between the two sides in over four decades. Eight months after the confrontation, China admitted that its four soldiers were killed in the fight.
External Affairs Ministry spokesperson, Arindam Bagchi said at a weekly briefing on Thursday, "we would like to see disengagement in the remaining areas, which would lead to de-escalation in eastern Ladakh and that would hopefully lead to restoration of peace and tranquillity and provide conditions for progress of our overall bilateral relationship.During the meeting on March 12 of the Working Mechanism on Coordination and Consultation (WMCC), both sides had agreed to convene the 11th round of the senior commanders meeting."