Millennium Post

No compromise on territorial integrity: India to China during 5th round of talks

New Delhi: The Indian army has categorically conveyed to China's PLA at the fifth round of military talks it will not compromise on India's territorial integrity, and clearly said disengagement of troops from Pangong Tso and a few other friction points in eastern Ladakh should be completed at the earliest, people familiar with the developments said on Monday.

Senior commanders of the two armies held intense negotiations for nearly 11 hours on Sunday at a designated meeting point in Moldo on the Chinese side of the Line of Actual Control (LAC).

The Indian delegation very clearly and firmly communicated to the Chinese side that restoration of status quo ante in all areas of eastern Ladakh was key for overall ties between the two countries, and that Beijing must ensure complete disengagement of its troops from the remaining friction points, according to the people familiar with the developments.

It was also categorically conveyed that the Indian army will not compromise on the country's territorial integrity, they said.

The Chinese army has pulled back from Galwan Valley and certain other areas but the withdrawal of troops has not moved forward from the Finger Four and Eight areas in Pangong Tso as demanded by India. The mountain spurs in the area are referred to as Fingers. China also has not completed withdrawal of troops from Gogra areas.

The focus of the Sunday talks was on finalising the modalities for further de-escalation, and disengagement of troops from various friction points, sources said, adding both sides were to discuss details of the negotiations with their respective military and political leadership.

The sources said Army Chief Gen MM Naravane was given a detailed briefing about the talks on Monday morning which was subsequently followed by a discussion he held with senior military officials on the overall situation in eastern Ladakh.

It is learnt that National Security Advisor Ajit Doval and External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar were also apprised about the talks, and the entire military and strategic brass tasked to deal with the border row is deliberating on various aspects of the overall situation.

The Indian delegation was led by Lt Gen Harinder Singh, the commander of the Leh-based 14 Corps, while the Chinese side was headed by Major General Liu Lin, commander of the South Xinjiang military region. The previous round of the Corps Commander-level talks took place on the Indian side of the LAC on July 14 and it lasted for nearly 15 hours.

There was no official word on details of the meeting.

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