New Delhi | Jagran News Desk: Amid escalating tension with China along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in eastern Ladakh, External Affairs Minister Dr S Jaishankar on Saturday said that there is no "visible expression" on the ground despite several rounds of talks between New Delhi and Beijing.

While replying to a question over India-China border standoff, Jaishankar said that talks will continue, adding that New Delhi has deployed a large number of troops on its border with Beijing.

"The disengagement talks, because it is a very complicated issue because it depends on troops, you have to know the geography (like) which position and what is happening, this is being done by the military commanders," he said.

"So, military commanders have held nine rounds of meetings so far. We believe some progress has been made, but it is not, in a kind of situation where there is a visible expression of that on the ground," he added.

Referring to the parleys he and Defence Minister Rajnath Singh held with their respective Chinese counterparts last year in Moscow, Jaishanakar said it was agreed that there should be disengagement in some points.

"Right now the military commanders are talking and they will continue to talk," he said.

India and China are locked in a military standoff since May 5 last. The two nations have held several rounds of talks but the situation along the LAC has not improved as the heavy deployment of troops continues at the borders. India has been maintaining that the disengagement process has to start simultaneously at all friction points and no selective approach was acceptable to it.

In the last round of talks, India and China have agreed to push for an early disengagement of troops and resolved to continue "effective efforts" to stabilise and control the situation in eastern Ladakh.

The Indian delegation at the talks was led by Lt Gen PGK Menon, the Commander of the Leh-based 14 Corps while the Chinese side was headed by Maj Gen Liu Lin, the commander of the South Xinjiang military district of the People's Liberation Army (PLA).

In the military talks, India has all along been demanding restoration of status quo ante in all areas of eastern Ladakh prior to April. The face-off had begun on May 5.

The eighth and last round of the talks had taken place on November 6 during which both sides broadly discussed disengagement of troops from specific friction points.

The seventh round of Corps Commander-level talks had taken place on October 12 where China had pressed for the withdrawal of Indian troops from a number of strategic heights around the southern bank of Pangong lake.

However, India insisted that the disengagement process has to start simultaneously at all the friction points.

Last month, India and China held another round of diplomatic talks under the framework of Working Mechanism for Consultation and Coordination (WMCC) on India-China border affairs. However, no concrete outcome emerged from the meeting.

Following the sixth round of military talks, the two sides had announced a slew of decisions including not to send more troops to the frontline, refrain from unilaterally changing the situation on the ground and avoid taking any actions that may further complicate matters.

This round was held with a specific agenda of exploring ways to implement a five-point agreement reached between External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar and his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi at a meeting in Moscow on September 10 on the sidelines of a Shanghai Cooperation Organisation(SCO) conclave.

The pact included measures like quick disengagement of troops, avoiding action that could escalate tensions, adherence to all agreements and protocols on border management and steps to restore peace along the LAC.

(With PTI Inputs)

Posted By: Aalok Sensharma