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 in Beijing that "China and India are in contact with each other regarding the 11th round of military-commander level talks."
"I have no more information for you about the specific date of the next round of talks," 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 such thing as delay in talks as you mentioned," Zhao said in response to a question.
"I'd like to stress that the ins and outs of the China-India border issue are very clear. The responsibility does not rest with China.
"It is hoped that India will meet with China half way, earnestly implement the important consensus reached by the leaders of the two countries, strictly abide by the agreements signed by the two sides, and take concrete actions to further ease the border situation," the spokesman said in an updated version of his comments on the Chinese foreign ministry website.
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, "as for India's proposal you mentioned, that's something for the two sides to discuss in the talks. I have just clearly stated China's position on the China-India border issue."
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.