China termed the fourth round of talks with India as “successful”, however, Chinese Foreign Ministry’s spokesperson Hua Chunying repeated the same old statement where she expressed hope that India will work with China to implement consensus with “concrete actions and jointly safeguard peace and tranquillity in the border areas”.
During the military-level talks, the Indian delegation also apprised the Chinese PLA about the “red lines” conveying that the onus remains largely on China to improve the overall situation in the region.
While the Chinese have agreed for complete withdrawal from other friction points including the Galwan Valley, Hot Springs, and Gogra post area in Eastern Ladakh, they are reluctant to completely withdraw from Finger area as they want to maintain some elements in areas near Finger 8, defence sources said.
China has deployed 3,000 PLA soldiers on the north bank of Pangong Tso and India wants them to move 8-km back to their permanent locations at Sirijap-I and II east of the Finger-8 area. However, as of now, the PLA has only moved back from the face-off site at the base of Finger-4 to Finger-5 and is yet to fully vacate the ridge-line that dominates the area. It has also been blocking Indian soldiers from visiting the traditional patrolling points 10, 11, 12 and 13 in the Depsang Plains.
However, India has made it clear that it will not accept anything less than both sides going back to their permanent locations which existed in the April-May months.