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Differences emerge between India and China, disengagement process at Pangong Tso lake stalled

NEW DELHI: The disengagement process at the Finger Area along Pangong Tso lake has been stalled since differences have emerged between India and China on the status and claims, with the two sides set to hold the next edition of the working mechanism for consultation and coordination (WMCC) meeting on Friday to resolve fresh issues.

The process of disengagement in the Finger Area is not moving ahead, beyond the withdrawal of troops from the base of Finger 4 to Finger 5, and fresh talks at the military and diplomatic levels are needed to clear the logjam, said people aware of the matter.

While the third round of the WMCC meeting on India-China border affairs is expected on Friday, a fresh round of corps commander level talks is expected to take place next week to take ahead the process.

“It is our expectation that the Chinese will sincerely work with us for complete disengagement and deescalation and full restoration of peace in the border areas at the earliest as agreed to by the special representatives,” said the Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson.

The people cited earlier said the disengagement process has hit an obstacle, as Chinese troops have not completely withdrawn from the LAC. At Patrol Point 17, more than 50 Chinese troops remain deployed inside India’s perception of the LAC while at PP 15, the Chinese army has agreed to move back without any conditions. At PP 14 in Galwan valley, the Indian Army has moved out some of its vehicles that had been stranded there as the flow of the river changed. The vehicles were evacuated through crossings made on the river for their de-induction.

“Their numbers have further been reduced in Galwan valley and Gogra heights but Chinese soldiers continue to occupy tactical positions in Depsang plains,” said an official, who did not wish to be identified.

Reports of a fresh build-up around the heights at Finger 4 were under verification and likely to be raised during the WMCC, said the official.

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