Amid the month-long standoff along the Line of Actual Control in Ladakh region, India and China military top brass will hold talks on Saturday to resolve the stand-off in the Eastern Ladakh region and de-escalation of forces across the Line of Actual Control. India will demand the removal of all permanent and temporary structures set up by the Chinese Army at the LAC.
The Indian delegation for the military talks will be led by Lt General Harinder Singh, the general officer commanding of Leh-based 14 Corps, while the Chinese side will be headed by the Commander of the Tibet Military District, official sources said in New Delhi.
The talks are slated to be held at the Border Personnel Meeting Point at Maldo in Chushul sector of Eastern Ladakh.
The Indian and Chinese troops have been locked in a bitter military standoff in at least four sensitive areas in eastern Ladakh following an incident of violent clashes between them in Pangong Tso on May 5 and 6.
The two sides resorted to massive military build-up and have been on an eyeball-to-eyeball situation in Galwan Valley, Pangong Tso, Demchok and Daulat Beg Oldi.
Official sources said the Indian delegation will press for restoration of status quo ante all areas of eastern Ladakh, oppose huge build up of Chinese troops in the region and ask China not to resist infrastructure development by India on its side of the de-facto border.
The sources said India was not expecting any “concrete outcome” from the meeting, but considers it important as the high-level military dialogue could pave the way for a negotiated settlement of the tense standoff.
After the standoff began in early last month, Indian military leadership decided that Indian troops will adopt a firm approach in dealing with the aggressive posturing by the Chinese troops in all disputed areas of Pangong Tso, Galwan Valley, Demchok and Daulat Beg Oldie.
A Chinese press release also said that both the countries will resolutely safeguard and promote multilateralism, oppose unilateralism, protectionism and hegemonism, jointly safeguard international fairness and justice, and safeguard the common interests of developing countries.
It also said the two countries should also deepen anti-epidemic cooperation, oppose politicising the epidemic situation, support the World Health Organisation (WHO) and promote the development of a public health system.
Ahead of Saturday’s meeting, senior diplomats from China and India on Friday held talks, the Chinese foreign ministry said, underlining that the two countries should not pose a “threat” to each other and not let their differences turn into disputes.
The talks through video conference were held between Naveen Srivastava, Joint Secretary (East Asia) in the External Affairs Ministry, and Wu Jianghao, Director-General of the Asian Department of China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs on the eve of a Lieutenant General-level dialogue to resolve the month-long bitter border standoff in eastern Ladakh.
During the talks, Wu and Srivastava exchanged views on bilateral relations, COVID-19 situation and anti-epidemic cooperation, celebrations marking the 70th anniversary of China-India diplomatic ties and multilateral cooperation, the Chinese Foreign Ministry said here in a press release.
The press release said both the sides should implement the consensus reached between the leaderships of the two countries that the “two neighbours do not constitute a threat to each other and that each other is an opportunity for development and do not let differences turn into disputes,” in a reference to decisions taken at the two informal summits between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping.
The India-China border dispute covers the 3,488-km-long LAC. China claims Arunachal Pradesh as part of southern Tibet while India contests it.
Both sides have been asserting that pending the final resolution of the boundary issue, it is necessary to maintain peace and tranquillity in the border areas.
(With PTI Inputs)