India, China To Hold Another Round Of Military Talks Next Week

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New Delhi: India and China will hold eighth round of military-level talks next week to resolve the ongoing standoff along the border in eastern Ladakh.

Lieutenant General P.G.K. Menon will lead the Indian delegation. Joint Secretary from the Ministry of External Affairs, Navin Srivastava, will also be part of the delegation.

Menon took over the charge of the 14 Corps Commander in mid October after his predecessor Lieutenant General Harinder Singh was transferred to the Indian Military Academy (IMA).

India and China are locked in an over five-month-long bitter border standoff in eastern Ladakh that has significantly strained their ties. Though both sides held a series of diplomatic and military talks to resolve the row, no breakthrough has been achieved to end the standoff.

After the seventh round of military-level talks on October 12, both sides had called the dialogue “positive and constructive”.

“Both sides agreed to maintain dialogue and communication through military and diplomatic channels, and arrive at a mutually acceptable solution for disengagement as early as possible. Both sides agreed to earnestly implement the important understandings reached by the leaders of the two countries, not to turn differences into disputes, and jointly safeguard peace and tranquillity in the border areas,” a joint press statement had said.

In the sixth round of talks, both sides had agreed to stop sending more troops to the frontline, and to refrain from unilaterally changing the situation on the ground. Those talks were held on September 22 and focused on implementing the five-point agreement reached on September 10.

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Wednesday said that while the troops are standing firm in eastern Ladakh, the ongoing talks for peaceful resolution of the crisis will continue.

Nearly 50,000 Indian Army troops are currently deployed in a high state of combat readiness in various mountainous locations in eastern Ladakh in sub-zero conditions.

Earlier this week, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo assured India that the US stands firmly with it to confront threats to its sovereignty. His remarks, which came after the Indo-US 2+2 dialogue, drew sharp reaction from China which said its border standoff with India in eastern Ladakh is a bilateral issue.

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