India, China commit to expeditious disengagement in Ladakh; Chinese maintain rigid stance on Depsang

a person riding a wave on top of a snow covered field

Further de-escalation in eastern Ladakh was discussed during the 12th round of India-China Corps Commander level talks on Saturday. The meeting was held at the Chushul-Moldo border meeting point on the Indian side.

Among key issues that came up during the discussion were Gogra and Hot Springs, which are friction points in eastern Ladakh where complete disengagement is yet to be achieved.

This 12th round of military talks between the two countries took place after a gap of more than three months since the previous round of talks.

READ: India-China face-off: Line of no control

India-China issue joint statement

According to a joint statement on Monday, the two sides had a “candid and in-depth” exchange of views on resolution of remaining areas related to disengagement along the Line of Actual Control (LAC). The statement goes on to say that the 12th round of talks were “constructive”.

India and China further agreed to resolve remaining issues in an “expeditious manner” and in accordance with existing bilateral agreements and protocols. This process will be carried out while maintaining the momentum of dialogue and negotiations.

a herd of cattle walking across a snow covered field

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Indian, Chinese troops disengaging from Pangong lake in eastern Ladakh in February of this year | Photo Credits: PTI

“The two sides also agreed that in the interim they will continue their effective efforts in ensuring stability along the LAC in the Western Sector and jointly maintain peace and tranquility,” the joint statement read.

What is the status in Ladakh?

There has been little or no forward movement in friction areas along the LAC in eastern Ladakh since disengagement in Pangong in February of this year.

Seeking a discussion over these areas, India insists that Depsang and Demchok should also be seen as friction areas in light of the ongoing military standoff.

However, China remains rigid in its stance on Depsang and Demchok. This is one of the key reasons why the Chinese have not even discussed other areas in eastern Ladakh apart from the ones that emerged as friction points during the military standoff last year.

The 12th round of talks on Saturday was preceded by a meeting between External Affairs Minister (EAM) S Jaishankar and his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi in Dushanbe on July 14. Top officials of the two countries also met for the 22nd meeting of the Working Mechanism for Consultation and Coordination on India-China Border Affairs (WMCC) on June 25.


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