India, China Corps Commanders discuss phased de-escalation

Defence minister Rajnath Singh is set to visit Ladakh on Friday even as military talks continue on the border tensions, with India and China seeking an “expeditious, phased and stepwise deescalation” as a priority.

Corps commander level talks at Chushul on Tuesday discussed disengagement at the faceoff sites along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) but were not conclusive, with sources saying that more rounds of diplomatic and military discussions would be needed.

Thousands of troops from both side remain deployed at forward positions since early May, with India beefing up forces in eastern Ladakh to match Chinese troops that have been brought in from other regions and deployed aggressively along the LAC.

Rajnath Singh, who has been monitoring the situation on the border on a daily basis, is expected to meet top military commanders in Leh and interact with soldiers deployed in Ladakh on Friday. This will be the first high-level visit to the region since border tensions started this year.

Singh, who recently came back from a visit to Russia where the border situation was discussed with the assurance that urgent Indian requirements would be met, could meet some of the soldiers who had been wounded in the clash at Galwan on June 15.

On the corps commander level talks, sources refrained from terming developments as ‘positive’ and said the discussions were carried out in a business-like manner keeping in view the Covid-19 protocols.

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