India-China stand off: Corps Commander-level talks expected early next week

Indian and Chinese armies are expected to hold a fresh round of Corps Commander-level talks early next week with a focus on implementing certain provisions of a five-point agreement reached between the two countries to disengage and de-escalation the situation in eastern Ladakh, government sources said on Friday.

India and China reached the five-point consensus to resolve the over four-month-long border row in eastern Ladakh at a meeting between External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar and his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi in Moscow on Thursday evening on the sidelines of a Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) meet.

The sources said Indian Army will keenly observe Chinese military’s overall approach along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in eastern Ladakh to make an assessment of their seriousness in easing tension as agreed in the Jaishankar-Wang talks.

It is learnt that Chief of Army Staff Gen MM Naravane deliberated on the overall situation in Ladakh as well as on the provisions of agreement with top military officials in the Army headquarters.

In Chushul, another round of Brigade Commander-level talks took place for around four hours from 11 AM to 3 PM on Friday with a focus on bringing down tensions in the face-off sites.

The five-point agreement included measures like quick disengagement of troops, avoiding action that could escalate tensions and steps to restore peace and tranquillity along the LAC. However, it has not mentioned any timeline for disengagement and restoration of peace and tranquillity.

In the five rounds of Corps Commander-level talks, the Indian side has been insisting on immediate restoration of status quo ante in all areas of eastern Ladakh prior to April. The face-off began on May 5. The sources said India will not lower its guard and will maintain the current state of very high-level combat readiness in eastern Ladakh till there are visible changes in the ground situation.