India and China engaged in the 19th round of military talks on Monday, with a primary focus on preventing clashes between their respective troops and fostering greater mutual confidence.
The discussions revolved around a strict adherence to border protocols and the sharing of patrol information to maintain stability along the Line of Actual Control (LAC).
According to a report by The Indian Express, India asked the Chinese for regaining the access to all the historical patrolling points along the LAC.
The Indian side also urged for an early disengagement at the remaining friction points, including legacy ones like the Depsang Plains and Demchok.
The agenda also encompassed a broader de-escalation of military presence in the Ladakh region.
The report further revealed that the two nations deliberated on implementing continued confidence-building measures to bridge the trust deficit between them.
Until a consensus is reached regarding complete access to the historic patrolling points along the LAC, both sides agreed to uphold the sanctity of buffer zones. The finer details of patrolling limits within these zones would be meticulously determined.
“Till a decision on providing complete access to old patrolling points along the LAC is arrived at, the sanctity of buffer zones would be maintained and the finer details on limit of patrolling in these areas would be worked out,” the IE report quoted an official as saying.
Additional points discussed included sustaining regular interactions at the battalion level and preventing any violations by drones, the sources added.
The marathon meeting, which commenced at 9.30 am and concluded at 5.30 pm, took place at the Indian side of the Chushul-Moldo border meeting point.
The Indian delegation was led by Lieutenant General Rashim Bali, the Commander of the 14 Corps.
This dialogue follows the last round of talks held on 23 April, preceding the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation Defence Ministers' meeting.
Coincidentally, the discussions occurred about a week ahead of the BRICS leaders' summit, where Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping will be in attendance.
The bilateral meeting, however, comes amidst a prolonged border standoff between Indian and Chinese forces since 2020 in the eastern Ladakh region.
While certain friction points like the Galwan Valley and areas along Pangong Tso have seen partial resolutions through the creation of buffer zones, an estimated 50,000 to 60,000 troops still remain stationed on both sides of the India-China border.
Editorial Associate at Swarajya. Writes on Indian Military and Defence.
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