Chinese mouthpiece Global Times (GT) on Thursday claimed that reports of India and China having finalised a detailed disengagement plan to defuse the military confrontation in eastern Ladakh were “inaccurate” at this stage even as it said momentum of recent military level talks was good.
“Such reports are not helpful for the two sides to reach their established goals,” said the Chinese newspaper. Its main grouse seemed to be against Indian media reports that said the proposed troop disengagement – if finalised — is likely to begin from the north bank of Pangong Tso, where Chinese troops have occupied the 8-km stretch from “Finger-4 to 8” since early-May.
China, on its part, has for long been insisting that Indian troops should first withdraw from the heights they occupied on the south bank of Pangong Tso-Chushul area on August 29-30.
The “momentum brought by the eighth round of corps commander talks (on November 6) is good”, said GT. But it went on to claim that “whether the disengagement of troops starts from southern or northern of Pangong Tso, how to withdraw, and with how many troops, were key topics” that are yet to be finalised by the two sides.
TOI had on Thursday reported India and China had “broadly agreed” to pull back troops, tanks, howitzers and armoured vehicles from ‘friction points’ in the Pangong Tso-Chushul area in eastern Ladakh. The “exact modalities and sequencing of steps” as well as the joint verification process for the proposed disengagement plan, however, were still being discussed between the two sides.