India-China border row: First phase of disengagement complete, 10th round of talks tomorrow

In what would mark a significant breakthrough in the over nine-month-long standoff in eastern Ladakh, the first phase of disengagement between Indian and Chinese troops, from both, the north and the south bank of Pangong Tso, is complete and the next round of the senior military commander-level talks are scheduled to be held on Saturday.

The tenth round of the talks, which were supposed to be held within 48 hours of the completion of the first phase of disengagement, would be held on the Chinese side of the Chushul-Moldo Border Personnel Meeting Point (BPM) at 10 am on Saturday morning to discuss other friction points.

A senior military source, aware of the details of the disengagement process, told The Indian Express that both sides had agreed that the first phase of disengagement was to be completed by February 19, and the Corps Commanders were to meet by February 21, so the meeting tomorrow will be “as per schedule”.

When asked if this means that troops from the frontline on the north and south banks of the lake have also moved back, vacating the heights, the source said that to be correct, “as the entire issue was about the troops on heights”.

The four-step disengagement included first pulling back armour, artillery and other heavy equipment, followed by infantry. Disengagement from the frontlines of the Rechin La-Rezang La complex of Kailash Range in the south bank.

Also, on Friday morning, People’s Daily, China, a media group affiliated to…

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