LAC standoff: Corps Commanders meet today, MEA official in India team
More than a week after Indian and Chinese foreign ministers reached an agreement in Moscow on a five-point approach to resolve the military standoff in eastern Ladakh, the sixth round of the Corps Commander-level talks will be held on Monday morning.
Sources in the defence establishment confirmed that the delegation will, for the first time since May, include a joint secretary-level officer from the Ministry of External Affairs, as reported by The Indian Express on September 17.
A senior government official had told The Indian Express last week that the decision to include an official from the MEA was being considered by the top brass.
The last two meetings, since mid-July, had failed to achieve any breakthrough in resolving the situation.
The two sides have been stuck in a stalemate since early July when troops from both sides had moved back from the friction points in the region. While Chinese troops had moved back to their side of the LAC from Patrolling Point 14 (PP14) in Galwan Valley, a small group continued to remain on the Indian side of the LAC at PP15 in Hot Springs and PP17A in Gogra Post area.
Also, though the Chinese troops had moved from the base of Finger 4 to Finger 5 on the north bank of Pangong Tso, they did not vacate the Finger 4 ridgeline, which is 8 km west of Finger 8, the feature that marks the LAC according to India.
Talks between XIV Corps Commander Lieutenant General Harinder Singh and his counterpart Major General Liu Lin, Commander of the South Xinjiang Military Region, failed to achieve a breakthrough in July.
Senior sources in the security establishment said there was realisation earlier that the Chinese was trying to delay discussions in the situation, but that changed towards the end of August when Indian troops outmanouevered Chinese soldiers to occupy key heights in the Chushul sub-sector in eastern Ladakh.
The new Indian positions on the heights allow them to dominate the area, offering them a clear view of the strategically-important Spanggur Gap and the Chinese garrison at Moldo.