Won't accept piecemeal deals on border: India to China

Won't accept piecemeal deals on border, India tells China

New Delhi has made it clear to Beijing that only a comprehensive deal for complete disengagement of troops in all friction points along the LAC would be acceptable to it

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India has conveyed to China that it would not accept any proposal for withdrawal of troops from the “friction points” along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in a piecemeal manner. 

Even as the two sides are in touch to schedule the ninth meeting between the senior commanders of the Indian Army and the Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) to end the eight-month-long stand-off in eastern Ladakh, New Delhi has made it clear to Beijing that only a comprehensive deal for complete disengagement of troops in all friction points along the LAC would be acceptable to it.

The PLA wanted the Indian Army to pull back troops from the dominating heights on the southern bank of Pangong Tso before the mutual process of disengagement could start on the northern bank of the lake or elsewhere along the LAC, a source in New Delhi said. 

The Indian Army, however, rejected the Chinese PLA's proposal for disengagement of troops in a piecemeal manner and argued that the two sides should rather work together to reach an agreement for complete disengagement of troops in all friction points along the LAC, including Depsang Y junction and Gogra Post and of course both sides of Pangong Tso, the source told DH.

New Delhi conveyed to Beijing that the complete disengagement of the front-line troops by both sides from the entire stretch of the LAC in the western sector was the key to the full restoration of peace in India-China border areas. 

The Indian Army also turned down the Chinese PLA's proposal for creating a moratorium on patrolling between Finger 3 and Finger 8 on the northern bank of the lake. 

Though India and China had agreed upon a roadmap for a mutual withdrawal of frontline troops from the face-off scenes along the LAC in early July, the process had come to a halt within a fortnight, with the Chinese PLA declining to completely pull back soldiers from several "points of friction" along the LAC. The senior military commanders of the two sides had held the fifth round of talks on August 2, but they had failed to end the stalemate.

After External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar and Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi had a meeting in Moscow on September 10, the military commanders of the two nations had again met on the LAC on September 21 - ending an almost six-week-long hiatus. They had agreed to stop further deployment of soldiers on the face-off points but had not been able to reach an agreement to restart the stalled process of pulling back troops already deployed on the LAC.