India-China 5th round of Corps Commander-level talks today; Pangong Tso, Gogra to be focus


India and China are set to hold the fifth round of Corps Commander level talks on Sunday, to work out modalities of Pangong Tso area and Gogra where the disengagement between the troops of the two countries has not happened.

The 5th round of Corps Commander level talks will be held in Moldo on the Chinese side. The situation on Pangong Tso lake is likely to be the agenda of the fifth round of Corps Commander level talks, sources have said.

The standoff at Patrolling Point 17A at Gogra, where disengagement between the Indian and the Chinese troops has not taken place yet, is also likely to feature in the fifth round of Corps Commander level talks.

In Pangong Tso area in eastern Ladakh, the Chinese troops have strengthened their positions between Finger 5 and 8. India is likely to take this up at the 5th round of Corps Commander-level talks today. The previous talks took place on July 14.

China might have claimed that disengagement in most friction points is complete but India maintains not much has changed at Gogra and Pangong Tso lake for over a fortnight and new status quo has emerged, sources said.

“Disengagement is still not complete in Pangong and Gogra areas. Some thinning of troops has happened but not much has changed,” an official said.

China has been silent on the status of Pangong Tso while it claims that disengagement at Galwan, Hot Springs and Gogra is complete.

Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin had earlier said that disengagement is complete in the three points. However, sources have said that troops from both sides are still in close proximity at Gogra and Pangong Lake. The two areas still remain volatile.

The Chinese have been enhancing their strength bringing additional boats to the friction areas of the Pangong Lake and setting up new huts to accommodate more troops even as the disengagement set in.

In the latest satellite imagery of July 29, 13 boats and 40 special huts to accommodate troops in dipping temperatures can be seen. New trenches and tents have also come up, the latest satellite images show.

The Indian troops are between Finger 3 and Finger 2 on the bank of the lake. Sources said there are still no signs of the Chinese army dismantling the structures they had set up between Finger 8 and Finger 4.

The distance between troops from both sides is 4-5 km on the bank of the river but on the mountain ridges of the lake, the troops are separated by less than 1 km, sources said.

So far, senior military commanders of the two armies have held four rounds of talks on disengagement of troops from the friction points in eastern Ladakh with an aim to restore peace and tranquility in the region.

Also Read | Latest satellite images show situation far from normal at Ladakh’s Pangong Tso
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Also Read | Latest satellite imagery reveals China digging in at Pangong Tso flashpoint

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