India, China agree to stop sending more troops to frontline

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A day after Indian and Chinese military commanders held the sixth round of talks to resolve the military standoff in eastern Ladakh, the two sides Tuesday said they have agreed to “stop sending more troops to the frontline, and refrain from unilaterally changing the situation on the ground”.

In a joint statement issued Tuesday, India and China said they have 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.”

More than a week after Indian and Chinese foreign ministers reached an agreement in Moscow on a five-point approach to resolve the standoff, the sixth round of the Corps Commander-level talks were held Monday. The meeting was held at Moldo, the border meeting point on the Chinese side near Chushul.

The two sides had a “candid and in-depth exchanges of views on stabilizing the situation along the LAC in the India – China border areas,” the statement read.

Both countries have also agreed to hold the 7th round of Military Commander-Level Meeting “as soon as possible”, and take practical measures to properly solve problems on the ground, in order to “safeguard peace and tranquility in the border area”.

Since mid-July, talks have not made much headway with the Chinese reluctant to complete the disengagement process, especially on the north bank of Pangong Tso where they continue to occupy the ridgeline at Finger 4. It is 8 km west of Finger 8 which India says marks the LAC.

Tensions heightened again towards the end of August when Indian troops, in pre-emptive moves to foil Chinese plans, occupied key heights on the south bank of Pangong Tso and on the stretch down to Rezang La and Rechin La.

Indian troops are currently positioned on Gurung Hill and Magar Hill, both of which overlook the Spanggur Gap, where India and China have their BPM huts. There are an estimated 50,000 troops on each side of the LAC, backed with tanks, artillery and air defence assets.

India has been insisting on status quo ante – of troops on either side returning to their April locations.

Here is the full statement

On September 21, the Indian and Chinese Senior Commanders held the 6th round of Military Commander-Level Meeting. The two sides had candid and in-depth exchanges of views on stabilizing the situation along the LAC in the India – China border areas. They 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. 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.

 

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The Dispatch Staff

The Dispatch Staff

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