India, China begin 10th round of talks on next phase of disengagement

Indian soldiers guard a highway leading to the Ladakh region. Photo: DPA. Sketched by the Pan Pacific Agency.

NEW DELHI, Feb 20, 2021, The Hindu. India and China began the tenth round of Corps Commander talks on Saturday to work out an agreement on the next phase of disengagement, The Hindu reported.

The talks began at Moldo on the Chinese side at 10 a.m., a defence official said.

On Friday, the two sides completed disengagement and also restoration of the ground on the north and south banks of Pangong Tso, as per the agreement reached in the ninth round of talks.

The other major friction points are Gogra, Hot Springs and Depsang Plains. The focus of this round of talks is expected to be on Gogra and Hot Springs, where partial disengagement was already done in June-July last year.

For disengagement at Pangong Tso lake, both sides had worked out a step-by-step agreement.

A second official said a similar agreement would be worked out for the subsequent rounds of disengagement and then de-escalation.

The Indian delegation is led by 14 Corps Commander Lt. Gen. P.G.K. Menon and includes Naveen Srivastava, Joint Secretary, East Asia division, Ministry of External Affairs.

In the first official acknowledgement, China on Friday said four of its personnel were killed in the Galwan clash last year. China also released a video of the incident.

Twenty Indian personnel were killed in that clash, including Commanding Officer Col. Santhosh Babu, but China had not immediately revealed details of its casualties.

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