NEW DELHI: In a significant move aimed at easing tension on the Line of Actual Control (LAC), India and China have agreed to stop sending additional troops to their respective sides of the LAC in eastern Ladakh. The major decision was taken while the Corps Commanders of the two countries met for the sixth round of talks on Monday.
A joint India-China official statement issued on Tuesday read, “Corps Commanders agreed to earnestly implement the important consensus reached by the leaders of the two countries, strengthen communication on the ground, avoid misunderstandings and misjudgments, stop sending more troops to the frontline, refrain from unilaterally changing the situation on the ground, and avoid taking any actions that may complicate the situation.” There are 40,000 troops each from the Indian and Chinese sides with tanks, artillery and missiles positioned against each other.
The Indian Army described the talk as “candid” in which the Indian and Chinese senior commanders had in-depth exchanges of views on stabilising the situation along the LAC in the India- China border areas.
Both sides said the talks will continue. “The two sides also agreed to hold the 7th round of Military Commander-Level Meeting as soon as possible, take practical measures to properly solve problems on the ground, and jointly safeguard peace and tranquility in the border area,” the joint statement added.
In a bid to resolve the issue with better inputs from all quarters, the Indian team comprised Naveen Srivastava, Joint Secretary (East) in the MEA and a senior representative of the The Indo-Tibetan Border Police, in addition to the military commanders of the 14 Corps, which has entire LAC in Ladakh as its area of responsibility. The marathon talks were held on Monday for about 14 hours in Moldo on the Chinese side of the LAC across India’s Chushul sector in eastern Ladakh.
Demand for early, complete pullout
The Indian delegation headed by Lt Gen Harinder Singh pressed for an early and complete pullout of Chinese troops from all the friction points. The two sides also mentioned about the harsh winter in the Ladakh region beginning October when temperatures fall up to -25 degree C and oxygen becomes scarce