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Disengagement at Gogra, Hot Springs in Focus as 11th Round of India-China Military Talks Likely on April 9

Image for representation.

Image for representation.

The border standoff between the Indian and Chinese militaries erupted on May 5 following a violent clash in the Pangong lake areas and both sides gradually enhanced their deployment by rushing in tens of thousands of soldiers.

India and China are Likely to hold the 11th round of corps commander level talks on April 9 to discuss the disengagement at friction points of Gogra, Hot Springs and Depsang plains in Ladakh.

The Indian Army also wants to resolve the long-standing patrolling issues at Depsang Bulge due to friction in the area during the 2013 stand-off with the People’s Liberation Army, Hindustan Times reported.

The 10th round of Corps Commander-level talks between India and China took place on February 21 and lasted for over 16 hours, concluding at around 2 am the next day. Militaries of both countries touched upon disengagement at the three friction points of Gogra Heights, Hot Springs and Depsang plains.

The disengagement process began on February 10. The Indian delegation at Saturday’s talks was led by Lt Gen PGK Menon, the Commander of the Leh-based 14 Corps. The Chinese side was headed by Maj Gen Liu Lin, the commander of the South Xinjiang military district of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA). In his statement in Parliament, the defence minister also said that it was agreed to convene the next meeting of senior commanders of both sides within 48 hours of completion of the disengagement in the Pangong lake areas so as to resolve all other remaining issues.

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Days later, the Defence Ministry said other outstanding “problems” including in Depsang, Hot Springs and Gogra will be taken up at the upcoming talks between military commanders of the two countries.

The border standoff between the Indian and Chinese militaries erupted on May 5 following a violent clash in the Pangong lake areas and both sides gradually enhanced their deployment by rushing in tens of thousands of soldiers as well as heavy weaponry even as the two sides continued military and diplomatic talks.

Last year, the Chinese military built several bunkers and other structures in the areas between Finger 4 and 8 and had blocked all Indian patrols beyond Finger 4, triggering strong reaction from the Indian Army. In the nine rounds of military talks, India had specifically insisted on withdrawal of Chinese troops from Finger 4 to Finger 8 on the North bank of Pangong Lake. The mountain spurs in the area are referred to as Fingers.

On its part, the Chinese side was insisting on withdrawal of Indian troops from several strategic peaks on the southern bank of the lake. Around five months back, Indian troops occupied a number of strategic heights in the Mukhpari, Rechin La and Magar hill areas around the southern bank after the Chinese PLA attempted to intimidate them in the area.

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first published:April 07, 2021, 08:38 IST