Indian and Chinese militaries are holding a second round of Lt General-level talks on Monday in an attempt to lower the temperature following the violent clashes in Galwan Valley last week that left 20 Indian Army personnel dead, official sources said.
The talks were scheduled to start at 11:30 am at Moldo on the Chinese side of Chushul sector in eastern Ladakh, they said.
The two sides are expected to deliberate on a set of confidence building measures including implementation of an agreement arrived at the first round of the Lt Gen talks on June 6, the sources said.
The Indian delegation at the talks is being led by 14 Corps Commander Lt Gen Harinder Singh while the Chinese side was to be headed by the Commander of the Tibet Military District.
The meeting is taking place in the backdrop of the escalating tension between the two sides after the Galwan Valley clashes on June 15, the most serious cross-border confrontation in the last 45 years.
The Chinese soldiers used stones, nail-studded sticks, iron rods and clubs in carrying out brutal attacks on Indian soldiers after they protested the erection of a surveillance post by China on the Indian side of the Line of Actual Control in Galwan.
After the clashes, the two sides held at least three-rounds of Major General-level talks to explore ways to bring down tension between the two sides.
In a telephonic conversation with his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi on Wednesday, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar called the clashes a “premeditated” action by Chinese PLA.
Following the incident, the government has given the armed forces “full freedom” to give a “befitting” response to any Chinese misadventure along the 3,500-km de-facto border.
The Army has sent thousands of additional troops to forward locations along the border in the last one week. The IAF has also moved a sizable number of its frontline Sukhoi 30 MKI, Jaguar, Mirage 2000 aircraft and Apache attack helicopters to several key air bases, including Leh and Srinagar, following the clashes.
The two armies were engaged in a standoff in Galwan and several other areas of eastern Ladakh since May 5 when their troops clashed on the banks of the Pangong Tso.
The situation in eastern Ladakh deteriorated after around 250 Chinese and Indian soldiers were engaged in a violent face-off on May 5 and 6. The incident in Pangong Tso was followed by a similar incident in north Sikkim on May 9.
Prior to the clashes, both sides had been asserting that pending the final resolution of the boundary issue, it was necessary to maintain peace and tranquillity in the border areas.