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SOURCE: TIMES NOW

Discussions between India and China for disengagement and deescalation in East Ladakh are at an advanced stage. The discussions are going on at different levels: between Indian and Chinese government officials in Delhi and Beijing and between military commanders, but not face to face. 

A top government official said: “We are not there yet. There are still loose ends to be tied.” There are efforts now to sort out the differences in understanding, the gaps in perception and also, the language of the understanding. But things remain very delicately poised. Things “could unravel” as well, the official said. 

While the military commanders, lieutenant general PGK Menon and Major General Lin Liu have last met face to face a while ago, it is learnt that the militaries are in touch. Indian officials in South Block are communicating with their counterparts in Beijing. 

Among the issues that are on the agenda is a whittling down of forces at the contact points, where the two sides are face to face and a drawdown of tanks and infantry combat vehicles on both sides. The Chinese People’s Liberation Army has brought in between 300-400 tanks, placing them in Depsang, Rudok and the area between Spanggur Tso and Rechin La. These tanks include the advanced ZTZ-99 ones, and also, the ZTZ-88s.

India has also built up in a commensurate way. In the cold– it is already -20°C and it’s going to get worse– it will be very difficult to keep the tanks going. 

India has been speaking about Chinese soldiers moving back to Finger 8 in the North Bank of Pangong Tso and also, from other parts to where they came from in May this year. And because they moved in first, they should move out first.