Disengagement of troops: China suggests Major Gen-level talks

Four months after Indian and Chinese troops disengaged in Pangong Tso, and two months after Corps Commander-level talks failed to make headway on pullback of troops from other areas of eastern Ladakh, China has suggested negotiations at the level of Division Commanders — an offer that the Indian side is said to be considering.

Division Commander-level talks involve teams headed by officers of the rank of Major General. This is different from the Corps Commander-level talks that involve more senior officers — Lt Generals who head Corps or equivalent formations.

The Chinese suggestion comes at a time when there is a stalemate over the disengagement process. The Corps Commander-level talks on April 9 made no progress.

Incidentally, June 15 will mark one year of the Galwan Valley incident in which 20 Indian Army personnel lost their lives in clashes with PLA troops. China belatedly admitted to the loss of four PLA personnel.

A senior officer from the defence establishment said China has conveyed to India that negotiations for disengagement at Hot Springs and Gogra Post — at both places, small contingents of Chinese troops are on the Indian side of the Line of Actual Control — can be discussed by Division Commanders. India, the officer said, is considering the idea. He said China has conveyed this to India through different levels, including hotline talks on the ground.

The officer did not rule out future discussions between Corps Commanders, but said if…

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