The talks are slated to begin at 12 noon in Chushul on the Indian side of the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in eastern Ladakh, they said. The agenda of the talks will be to firm up a roadmap for disengagement of troops from all the friction points in eastern Ladakh, the sources said.
The China Study Group (CSG), comprising Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar, National Security Advisor Ajit Doval, Chief of Defence Staff Gen Bipin Rawat and three service chiefs, on Friday finalised India’s strategy for the military talks. The CSG is India’s key policy-making body on China.
The sources said India will strongly oppose any demand by China for the withdrawal of Indian troops from several strategic heights on the southern bank of the Pangong lake to kick-start the disengagement process. During the last round of Corps Commander-level talks, the Chinese military insisted on the withdrawal of troops by the Indian Army from several strategic heights in Mukhpari, Rezang La and Magar hill areas around the southern bank of Pangong lake.
India has been maintaining that the disengagement process has to start simultaneously at all the friction points.
“Indian will again press for early and complete disengagement of troops from all the friction points,” said a source, adding that the onus is on the Chinese military to start the process. At the talks, the two sides are also expected to look into further steps to maintain stability and avoid any action that may trigger fresh tension in the region where troops from both sides will be facing difficult conditions in the next four months due to harsh winters.