India and China will hold top military-level talks on the Chinese side of the border to discuss the Galwan face-off and other points of dispute. Lieutenant general-level talks will be held at Moldo on the Chinese side of Chushul in eastern Ladakh, a week after 20 Indian soldiers were killed in a violent face-off with Chinese troops in the region’s Galwan Valley.
The meeting, the second since June 6, will be held at Moldo on the Chinese side of the Line of Actual Control (LAC) opposite Chushul to discuss the ongoing dispute in Ladakh.
“All issues will be discussed including Galwan and the Fingers area,” said army sources.
The last time a meeting at this level was held was on June 6, when India and China agreed to pull back troops in attempts to de-escalate after weeks of tension and build-up.
On June 15, 20 Indian Army soldiers, including a commanding officer, were killed after an hours-long intense hand-to-hand combat with troops of China People’s Liberation Army (PLA).
Before this, Lt Gen Harinder Singh, the commander of 14 Corps, along with other officers, who were part of the earlier meetings with their Chinese counterparts, had met on June 6.
The Chinese side of the delegation was represented by Major General Lin Liu, corps commander of the South Xinjiang Military Division.
Tensions built up along the LAC following violent clashes between hundreds of Indian and Chinese troops in the Sikkim and Ladakh sectors in May.
Army officers of the two sides have held several meetings along the disputed border but have been unable to break the impasse.
Yesterday, at a meeting between Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, Chief of Defence Staff Bipin Rawat, and three service chiefs, it was decided that the army would change its rules of engagement with the Chinese at the Line of Actual Control (LAC). Field commanders have been empowered to sanction the use of firearms under ”extraordinary” circumstances.
“India wants peace but will retaliate if provoked by the Chinese,” sources said after the meeting.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi had earlier also said the Army has been given full freedom to deal with the on-ground situation.
Mean-while, Former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh released a statement on Monday reminding Prime Minister Narendra Modi to “be mindful of the implications of his words” and that “disinformation is no substitute for diplomacy”. Following the death of 20 Indian soldiers in a clash between India and China border troops at Galwan Valley, Singh said that India stands united in its response to this brazen threat.