India-China Military Talks on Ladakh Stand-off Stretch for Over 15 Hrs, Defence Minister to be Briefed Today
Image for representation.
The ninth round of India-China corps commander level talks over the Ladakh stand-off, which began in Moldo at 11 am on Sunday, went on till about 2.30am the next day, officials in the know confirmed to CNN-News18.
Defence Minister Rajnath Singh will be briefed about the meeting on Monday morning, the officials said.
"Additional Secretary Naveen Srivastava and a few others, including DGMO officials, arrived on Saturday morning. Further meetings are underway," an official had told News18 on Sunday.
Other than Srivastava, the Indian delegation included Lt Gen PGK Menon (GOC 14 Corps); Deepam Seth, IG North West Frontier, ITBP; Brig Rajiv Ghai (Army HQ, Delhi); Maj Gen Sanjay Mitra (GOC 39 Div); Maj Gen RS Raman, Brig HS Gill and others.
The meeting took place at the peak of winter when sub-zero temperatures have forced both sides to reduce deployment. "The core issues remain but the winter has forced literal cooling down. So, talks in that sense are happening on an improved backdrop," the officer said.
The talks were expected to take forward the phase-wise withdrawal agreed upon in the last round.
Up to 10,000 troops have been withdrawn from the rear areas by China since the onset of winters. Indian deployment has also mirrored the Chinese pattern.
Senior functionaries in the government told News18 that India is committed to deployment even in the challenging circumstances if that is what it takes to keep China at bay.
The last corps commander level talks happened in November where "both sides agreed to earnestly implement the important consensus reached by the leaders of the two countries (India and China), ensure their frontline troops to exercise restraint and avoid misunderstanding and miscalculation,” as per India's statement.
“India and China agreed to maintain dialogue and communication through military and diplomatic channels, and taking forward the discussions at this meeting, push for the settlement of other outstanding issues, so as to jointly maintain peace and tranquillity in the border areas. India and China also agreed to have another round of meeting soon,” India had said after last round of talks.