Millennium Post

At 7th round of military talks, India insists on early disengagement by China

New Delhi: India on Monday insisted on the restoration of status quo ante of April and comprehensive disengagement of troops by China from all the friction points in eastern Ladakh to resolve the border standoff, government sources said, as the two countries held the seventh round of military talks.

The Corps commander-level talks began at around noon in Chushul on the Indian side of the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in eastern Ladakh and continued beyond 8:30 pm, they said.

As the border standoff entered the sixth month, an early resolution to the row appeared dim with close to 100,000 Indian and Chinese troops remaining deployed in the high-altitude region and showing readiness for a long-haul.

There is no official word on the talks yet but sources said the agenda was to finalise a roadmap for disengagement of troops from all the friction points.

The Indian delegation is led by Lt Gen Harinder Singh, the commander of the Leh-based 14 Corps, and includes Naveen Srivastava, Joint Secretary (East Asia) in the Ministry of External Affairs(MEA). It is learnt an official of the Chinese foreign ministry is also part of the Chinese delegation.

The sources said India pressed for an early and complete disengagement of troops by China from all the friction points besides demanding immediate restoration of status quo ante in all areas of eastern Ladakh prior to April. The standoff began on May 5.

The China Study Group (CSG) comprising Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar, National Security Advisor Ajit Doval, Chief of Defence Staff Gen Bipin Rawat and the three service chiefs on Friday finalised India's strategy for the military talks. The CSG is India's key policy-making body on China.

Meanwhile, Union Defence minister Rajnath Singh said on Monday: "You are well aware of the conditions created along our northern and eastern borders. First, it was Pakistan, and now also by China, as if a border dispute is being created under a mission. We have a border of about 7,000 km with these countries where the tension continues." With agency inputs

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