China says India's proposal of restoring status quo of April 2020 in eastern Ladakh could be discussed

BEIJING: China on Thursday said that India's proposal for the restoration of the status quo of April 2020 at eastern Ladakh could be discussed at the next meetings between the two countries. 
China also said that there is no delay in holding talks with India to discuss the disengagement of troops from the remaining friction points in eastern Ladakh, amid reports about the likelihood of the 11th round of corps commander-level talks on Friday. 
Asked to confirm the date for the 11th round of China-India Corps Commander-level meeting to discuss further disengagement in eastern Ladakh, Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian told a media briefing here that "China and India are in communication on the holding of the 11th round of talks." 
"As for the specific date for the upcoming talks, I have no information," he said. 
The spokesman also denied any delay in holding of the 11th round of talks when pointed out that it is going to be about two months since the first disengagement has taken place and a month since the 10th round of talks on the disengagement of troops. 
"There is no delayed meeting as you cited. I want to stress that the merits of the situation at the India-China border are very clear and the responsibility does not rest with the Chinese side," Zhao said. 
"We hope the Indian side will work with China to follow through the important consensus of our two state leaders, abide by relevant agreements and treaties to de-escalate the tension at the border," he said. 
He also said India's proposal for the restoration of the status quo at eastern Ladakh could be discussed at the meetings between the two countries. 
About India's stand that the status quo of April 2020 should be restored and whether China would consider such a proposal, Zhao said, "for the proposal, you mentioned I believe it should be talked in the meetings and I already made clear my position on the border issue just now." 
Media reports from Delhi said the corps commanders of both the militaries are likely to meet on Friday to discuss the disengagement of troops in the remaining friction points in eastern Ladakh. 
India was expected to insist on early disengagement of troops in Gogra and Hot Springs besides pressing for resolution of pending issues in Depsang plains, the reports said. 
The border standoff between the Indian and Chinese militaries erupted on May 5 last 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. 
As a result of a series of military and diplomatic talks, the two sides completed the withdrawal of troops and weapons from the North and South banks of Pangong Lake in February in line with an agreement on disengagement. 

In the subsequent military talks on February 20, India insisted on the resolution of outstanding issues including in Depsang, Hot Springs and Gogra. 
India has been insisting that peace and tranquility along the border is essential for overall ties between the two countries. 

Last week, India hoped that China will work with it to ensure disengagement of troops in remaining areas of eastern Ladakh at the earliest. 

It said de-escalation of tension alone will lead to restoration of peace and tranquility in border areas and provide conditions for the progress of bilateral ties. 



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