A third round of talks will take place tomorrow between Indian and Chinese army commanders – two weeks after the clash in the Galwan Valley in Ladakh in which 20 soldiers were killed in action – government sources said. Lt. General level talks will focus on reducing tensions at the real line of control – the de facto border between India and China.
In the latest round of talks on June 22 in Moldo, which is on the Chinese side of the real line of control – the commanders agreed to step back from the confrontation along a disputed stretch of border.
Sources indicate that the meeting will advance the disengagement agreement reached at the last meeting.
The first round of talks between lieutenant-general’s rank officers took place in Moldo on June 6, a few days after the fighting between the two sides near Pangong Lake after weeks of confrontation.
At the meeting, the commanders of the two sides agreed to withdraw their troops and disengagement began on both sides.
But on June 15, violence erupted in the Galwan Valley after Chinese soldiers refused to remove a tent – in violation of the decision made at the June 6 meeting – in which 20 Indian soldiers, including a commander, were killed in the service line and more than 70 soldiers were injured.
The military estimates that the Chinese have suffered 45 casualties – Chinese military leaders have reportedly passed on information about the loss of a Chinese colonel to their Indian counterparts.
Both parties had used sticks, stones and studded rods, in accordance with the policy prohibiting firearms at LAC.
India has now decided to change the rules of engagement. India’s main defense establishment has authorized commanders on the ground to sanction the use of firearms in “extraordinary” circumstances.