India, China may hold border talks next week2 min read . Updated: 31 Jul 2020, 11:31 PM IST
- Next meeting of the senior military commanders expected after 2 August
- India proposed to hold military-level talks on 28, 29, or 30 July but the dates were pushed back
The military-level talks expected this week between Indian and Chinese officials to defuse the tension along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) will be held after 2 August, two people said on Friday, requesting anonymity.
India had proposed to hold the talks on 28, 29, or 30 July between Indian Army’s 14 Corps commander lieutenant general Harinder Singh and his Chinese major general Lin Liu, commander of South Xinjiang Military District.
However, the date was pushed back though the people mentioned above did not say why the dates were not acceptable to the Chinese side.
One of the persons mentioned above said that the talks were likely to take place next week, considering that 1 August is observed as the Chinese People’s Liberation Army Day.
Singh and Liu have met four times, on 6, 22, and 30 June, and 14 July, over disengagement of troops along the LAC. The earlier meetings led to withdrawal of troops and the creation of buffer zones at two key points, Patrolling Points (PP) 14 and 15. However, there has been only limited progress at PP 17A and at the banks of Pangong Tso lake. Chinese troops moved back slightly at PP17A, according to an agreement reached on 30 June, but refused to pull back further from Pangong Tso, he said.
On Thursday, Indian foreign ministry spokesman Anurag Srivastava said “some progress" was made on disengagement, but the “process has not been completed yet". “The senior commanders of the two sides will meet in the near future to work out steps in this regard," he said.
Srivastava’s comments came after Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin said that disengagement had taken place and the situation was easing. On Thursday, at a virtual session organized by Delhi-based think tank Institute of Chinese Studies, Chinese ambassador to India Sun Weidong said: “The border troops have disengaged in most localities and the temperature is coming down." Indian and Chinese troops had clashed at Galwan along the LAC on 15 June, which resulted in the deaths of 20 Indian soldiers and an unknown number of Chinese troops.
Sun said China was not in favour of resuming the process of redefining the LAC because it could “create new disputes". Chinese troops were on its side of the “traditional customary boundary line" on the northern bank of Pangong Tso, he said.
However, Srivastava said on Thursday that “We expect the Chinese side will sincerely work with us for complete disengagement and de-escalation and full restoration of peace and tranquillity in the border areas at the earliest."