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India, China stress need for stepwise de-escalation at LAC as priority

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Indian soldiers were outnumbered 1:5 during Galwan clashesNew Delhi (IANS) Amid the ongoing tension on the borders in eastern Ladakh, India and China have emphasised the need for an expeditious, phased and stepwise de-escalation as a priority, sources said on Wednesday.

The sources said that the ground situation on the Line of Actual Control (LAC) remains the same and “more military and diplomatic level talks will take place” in the coming days.

The emphasis was made during the third senior military commander-level engagement between both the countries on Tuesday.

The discussion took places over issues related to disengagement at the face-off sites along the LAC and de-escalation from the border areas.

The sources said that the meeting between two countries” military delegates on Tuesday was long and held in a “businesslike manner keeping in view the Covid-19 protocols”. The talks went on for over 12 hours, starting at 10.30 am. ended at 11 pm.

The discussions reflected the commitment of both sides to reduce the tensions along the Line of Actual Control.

The sources said that more meetings are expected — both at the military and diplomatic levels — between India and China in future so as to arrive at mutually agreeable solution and “to ensure peace and tranquility along the Line of Actual Control as per bilateral agreements and protocols”.

“The process of disengagement along the LAC is complex and in such a context, speculative and unsubstantiated reports need to be avoided,” the sources said.

Both the delegations held talks in line with the agreement between External Affairs Minister and his Chinese counterpart during their conversation on June 17 that the overall situation would be handled in a responsible manner, and that both sides would implement the disengagement understanding of June 6 sincerely.

Commanders from the Chinese People”s Liberation Army and Indian Army held the meeting at Chushul on Indian side for talks on June 30, 2020.

Lieutenant General Harinder Singh, Commander of Leh-based XIV Corps, and South Xinjiang military chief Major-General Liu Lin met to discuss the disengagement of troops from the disputed areas.

The last two meetings at Corps Commander-level were held on June 6 and June 22.

–IANS

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