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Eastern Ladakh Row : India To Press For Early Disengagement In Remaining Friction Points At Fresh Military Talks With China

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NEW DELHI, Aug 12 (PTI): India is set to press for early disengagement of troops from the remaining friction points in eastern Ladakh at a fresh round of high-level military talks with China on August 14, people familiar with the matter said on Saturday.

The 19th round of Corps Commander level dialogue is taking place around four months after the last edition of the military talks were held to ease tensions in the region.

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The Indian delegation at the talks are going to seek completion of the disengagement process in the remaining friction points at the earliest, said one of the persons cited above.

The Indian and Chinese troops are locked in an over three-year standoff in certain friction points in eastern Ladakh even as the two sides completed disengagement from several areas following extensive diplomatic and military talks.

In the 18th round of the military dialogue that was held on April 23, the Indian side strongly pressed for resolving the lingering issues at Depsang and Demchok.

The fresh round of talks is set to take place at Chushul-Moldo border meeting point on the Indian side, the sources said.

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The Indian delegation at the dialogue is likely to be headed by Lt Gen Rashim Bali, the Commander of the Leh-headquartered 14 Corps. The Chinese team is expected to be led by the commander of the South Xinjiang Military District.

Last month, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping spoke on the need to stabilise bilateral relations at a dinner during the G-20 summit in Bali last year.

On July 24, national security advisor Ajit Doval met top Chinese diplomat Wang Yi on the sidelines of a meeting of the five-nation grouping BRICS in Johannesburg.

In its statement on the meeting, the MEA said Doval conveyed that the situation along the LAC in the western sector of the India-China boundary since 2020 had “eroded strategic trust” and the public and political basis of the relationship.

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It said the NSA emphasised the importance of continuing efforts to fully resolve the situation and restore peace and tranquillity in the border areas so as to remove impediments to normalcy in bilateral ties.

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 May 5, 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 in 2021 on the north and south banks of the Pangong lake and in the Gogra area.

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