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India, China hold third round of talks but rival military build-ups continue | India News


NEW DELHI: India on Tuesday asked China to adhere to the broad de-escalation and disengagement plan of June 22, with gradual, verifiable and mutual troop pull-back from the confrontation sites in eastern Ladakh, followed by reduction in the continuing rival military build-ups along the Line of Actual Control (LAC).
There was no official word on the outcome of the third round of talks on Tuesday between 14 Corps commander Lt-General Harinder Singh and South Xinjiang Military District chief Major General Liu Lin, who had held similar marathon dialogues on June 6 and June 22.
The meeting on Tuesday, being held on the Indian side of the Chushul-Moldo border personnel meeting (BPM) point in eastern Ladakh for the first time, began at 11 am and continued till late in the night.
But sources said China, instead of de-inducting troops, has continued with its military build-up in different sectors along the 3,488-km LAC, with an increase in activity by the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) also being witnessed across Sikkim and Arunachal Pradesh as well.
India, while pressing for restoration of status quo as it existed in mid-April, has been matching the PLA deployments with additional troops, artillery guns, tanks and other armoured vehicles.
As per the plan agreed upon during the corps commanders meeting on June 22, the rival troops were first to be physically separated by a distance of at least 2.5 to 3 km in all the confrontation or “friction” sites at the Galwan Valley region, Gogra-Hotsprings, Pangong Tso and Depsang to cool down the heightened tensions.
In the meeting on Tuesday, India in particular asked the PLA to pull back from the “Finger-4 to 8” stretch (mountainous spurs separated over a distance of 8-km) on the north bank of Pangong Tso, “Patrolling Point-14 (PP-14)” in Galwan Valley and the “Bottleneck” area in Depsang Plains of eastern Ladakh.
“This will ensure another bloody skirmish like the one near PP-14 in Galwan on June 15 (in which 20 Indian soldiers and an unspecified number of PLA troops were killed) does not happen again. But it is yet to take place on the ground,” said a source.
After a brief pull-back initially in the Galwan Valley, the PLA had reneged on the agreement to come back to the confrontation site, leading to the escalation in tensions between the rival troops.
“There has been no real disengagement on the ground, with the PLA just moving about a dozen vehicles up and down. The Chinese, in fact, have fortified their positions further. Full disengagement, if it happens, might take a few months. We are prepared for the long haul,” he added.



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