23:29 GMT16 April 2021
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    The Pangong Lake had been the focus of the tussle between India and China amid the border standoff in eastern Ladakh over the past 11 months. Disengagement between the two countries' troops on the northern bank of Pangong Lake occurred in February after both sides reached consensus in the ninth round of talks between the military commanders.

    Nearly two months after the Indian Army and China's People's Liberation Army (PLA) reached a consensus to withdraw troops from Pangong Lake, the commanders of the two countries will meet again on Friday to discuss the border stand-off at sites such as the Depsang Plains, Demchok, Gogra and  Hot Springs.

    Indian Army sources have revealed that officials from the Chinese and Indian armies will meet at Chushul in India's Ladakh for the 11th round of military talks.

    In this photograph provided by the Indian Army, tanks pull back from the banks of Pangong Tso lake region, in Ladakh along the India-China border on Wednesday, Feb. 10, 2021.
    © AP Photo
    In this photograph provided by the Indian Army, tanks pull back from the banks of Pangong Tso lake region, in Ladakh along the India-China border on Wednesday, Feb. 10, 2021.

    India has already clarified its position in the previous rounds of talks that the country would agree to de-escalation only if it is "simultaneous" with the other side and mutual security concerns are tackled in areas such as Depsang, Demchok, Gogra and Hot Springs.

    "There is a consensus that the two sides should now quickly resolve the remaining issues along the Line of Actual Control in Eastern Ladakh. The disengagement in the Pangong Lake area was a significant step and it has provided a good basis for resolving other issues along the LAC in the Western Sector," Arindam Bagchi, India's foreign ministry spokesman said last week.

    Indian foreign minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar pointed out to his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi that a prolongation of the situation is in "neither side's interest".

    "We therefore hope that the Chinese side will work with us to ensure that disengagement in the remaining areas is completed at the earliest possible opportunity. This would allow both sides to consider de-escalation of forces in eastern Ladakh as that alone will lead to the restoration of peace and tranquility and provide conditions for progress of our bilateral relationship," Arindam Bagchi had added.

    PLA troops are allegedly deployed within Indian sight of the Line of Actual Control in these areas which continues to remain a matter of concern for New Delhi. New Delhi considers the LAC to be 3,488km long whereas Beijing believes it to be only around 2,000km.

    A series of military and diplomatic talks resulted in the withdrawal of troops and weapons from the north and south banks of Pangong Lake in line with an agreement of disengagement. In the last round of military talks, India insisted on a resolution of outstanding issues including in Depsang, Gogra  and Hot Springs. 

    In the ninth round of military talks in February, which lasted for over 16 hours, both the countries agreed to push for an early disengagement of troops and resolved to continue "effective efforts" to control situation in Ladakh. 

    The stand-off between the two countries started in April 2020 over border infrastructure near Pangong Tso and escalated into a violent clash on 15-16 June, in which 20 Indian soldiers and four Chinese soldiers were killed.


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