China said on Tuesday that the current situation on the border areas with India was “stable” as it confirmed that the 14th round of Corps Commander-level talks to discuss the disengagement process in the remaining friction points in eastern Ladakh will be held on Wednesday.
The remarks by Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin came a day after sources in the security establishment in New Delhi said that India is looking forward to “constructive” dialogue with China to resolve issues in remaining friction points in eastern Ladakh, ahead of the 14th round of military talks between the two sides on the 20-month row.
Asked whether China can confirm the meeting and its expectations, Wang, during a media briefing here, said: “As agreed by both sides, China and India on January 12th will hold the 14th Commander level meeting on the Chinese side of the Maldo meeting site”.
“Currently, the situation on the border areas is stable on the whole and the two sides are in dialogue and communication through diplomatic and military channels,” he said.
Wang said China hopes that India will help the situation move from an emergency mode to a regular daily based management phase. According to the sources in New Delhi, the ‘Senior Highest Military Commander Level’ talks between India and China will take place on January 12 at the Chushul-Moldo meeting point, on the Chinese side of the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in eastern Ladakh.
India is looking forward to “constructive” dialogue with China to resolve issues in remaining friction points in eastern Ladakh, they said, adding that major focus of the talks will be on disengagement in the Hot Springs area. The Indian side is expected to press for disengagement as soon as possible in all the remaining friction points including resolution of issues in Depsang Bulge and Demchok. The 13th round of military talks took place on October 10, 2021 and they ended in a stalemate.
Both sides failed to make any headway in the talks with the Indian Army saying after the dialogue that the “constructive suggestions” made by it were neither agreeable to the Chinese side nor it could provide any “forward-looking” proposals. In their virtual diplomatic talks on November 18, India and China agreed to hold the 14th round of military talks at an early date to achieve the objective of complete disengagement in remaining friction points in eastern Ladakh.
The eastern Ladakh border standoff between the Indian and Chinese militaries erupted on May 5, 2020, following a violent clash in the Pangong lake areas. As a result of a series of military and diplomatic talks, the two sides completed the disengagement process last year in the north and south banks of the Pangong lake and in the Gogra area.
Each side currently has around 50,000 to 60,000 troops along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in the sensitive sector.