Monday, April 19, 2021

India, China will continue talks to resolve remaining issues along LAC: Govt

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India on Wednesday said it will continue discussions with China to resolve the remaining issues along the Line of Actual Control in eastern Ladakh and achieve the objective of disengagement from all friction points to restore peace and tranquillity in the border areas at an early date.

In responding to a question in Lok Sabha on whether China has admitted loss of lives of their commandos in the Galwan encounter, minister of state for external affairs V Muraleedharan said the Central Military Commission of China on February 19 announced awarding posthumously honorary titles and merit citations to Chinese soldiers.

“As per the announcement, these titles were awarded for the role of these soldiers in the faceoff at Galwan Valley in June 2020,” he said.

Twenty Indian soldiers were killed in the fierce hand-to-hand combat in the Galwan Valley clash, an incident that marked the most serious military conflicts between the two sides in decades.

For the first time, China officially acknowledged last month that five Chinese military officers and soldiers were killed in the clash with the Indian Army.

“Government will continue discussions with the Chinese side to resolve the remaining issues along the LAC in eastern Ladakh and achieve the objective of disengagement from all friction points and restoration of peace and tranquillity in the India-China border areas at an early date,” Muraleedharan said.

The border standoff between the Indian and Chinese armies erupted on May 5 following a violent clash in the Pangong lake areas and both sides gradually enhanced their deployment by rushing in tens of thousands of soldiers as well as heavy weaponry.

As a result of a series of military and diplomatic talks, the two sides completed withdrawal of troops and weapons from the north and south banks of Pangong lake in line with an agreement on disengagement.

In his response, Muraleedharan also referred to defence minister Rajnath Singh’s announcement in Parliament on February 11 that India and China reached an agreement on disengagement in the North and South banks of Pangong lake.

“The disengagement in the Pangong Lake area has been completed,” he said.

After completion of the disengagement process in Pangong lake areas, senior military commanders of India and China held another round of talks on February 20 with a focus on taking forward the disengagement process in other friction points.

In the talks, India pitched for a faster disengagement process in areas like Hot Springs, Gogra and Depsang to bring down tension in the region.

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