New Delhi: India and China are set to hold the 10th round of Corps Commander level talks on Saturday and discuss disengagement from other friction points as the two armies are now moving back from north and south banks of Pangong Lake following the disengagement agreement.
The talks will be held on the Chinese side of the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in Moldo.
Earlier, sustained diplomatic and military level talks led to disengagement at the Pangong Lake in eastern Ladakh.
The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said last week that the disengagement of troops of the Indian Army and China's People's Liberation Army from the Line of Actual Control was reached after sustained negotiations at the military and diplomatic level.
The two countries have had a stand-off along the LAC since April-May last year due to actions of the Chinese army and have held several rounds of military and diplomatic talks.
Defence Minister says
The announcement on the disengagement was made by Defence Minister Rajnath Singh in Parliament.
"India's strategy and approach during disengagement talks with China are based on directions of Prime Minister Narendra Modi that we will not allow an inch of our territory to be taken by anyone. It is a result of our firm resolve that we have reached the situation of an agreement," Singh said during a session in Parliament.
Meanwhile, the PLA acknowledged for the first time on Friday the death of its soldiers during a fierce hand-to-hand battle with the Indian Army in the Galwan Valley in eastern Ladakh in June last year.
China's military authorities have honoured two officers and three soldiers, including four who received the awards posthumously, for defending the country's western border, the official Xinhua news agency reported, quoting the The People's Liberation Army Daily, the newspaper of the Chinese military.
Five Chinese frontier officers and soldiers stationed in the Karakoram Mountains have been recognised by the Central Military Commission of China (CMC) for their sacrifice in the border confrontation with India, which occurred in the Galwan Valley in June 2020, the PLA Daily said.
The CMC is headed by Chinese President Xi Jinping, also General Secretary of the ruling Communist Party of China.
The title of "border-defending hero" was conferred on Battalion Commander Chen Hongjun posthumously, while Chen Xiangrong, Xiao Siyuan and Wang Zhuoran received first-class merit. Qi Fabao, who was seriously injured in the skirmish, received the title of "hero regiment commander for defending the border," the Xinhua report said.
Three PLA soldiers were killed in the combat while another soldier died while crossing the icy river when he went to support his army mates.
Asked why China chose to reveal the casualties suffered during the Galwan incident after over eight months, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying said, "the report has been revealed to give the truth to the public because the truth is long awaited and is necessary for the people to know the true story."
India lost 20 soldiers
India has said that 20 of its soldiers were killed in the fierce hand-to-hand combat on June 15 in Galwan Valley, an incident that marked the most serious military conflicts between the two sides in over four decades.
While China acknowledged casualties, it did not disclose the details.
The border standoff between the Indian and Chinese militaries erupted on May 5 last year following a violent clash in the Pangong Lake areas and both sides gradually enhanced their deployment by rushing in tens of thousands of soldiers as well as heavy weaponry.
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 (LAC) in Galwan.
The PLA Daily claimed that the Indian soldiers attacked the Chinese military personnel with steel tubes and cudgels and threw stones.
The Galwan incident was the biggest confrontation between the two militaries after their 1967 clashes in Nathu La when India lost around 80 soldiers while over 300 Chinese army personnel were killed.
The India-China border dispute covers the 3,488-km-long LAC. China claims Arunachal Pradesh as part of southern Tibet, while India contests it.
(With PTI inputs)