Conflict

India-China to hold diplomatic talks to discuss steps to disengage

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New Delhi: The meeting of the Working Mechanism for Consultation and Coordination on India-China border affairs (WMCC) where the two sides are expected to discuss how to resolve the stand-off at four points in East Ladakh is set to ensue on Wednesday.

The Indian Army, after the marathon meeting of military commanders on June 22 had unofficially termed it as ‘mutual consensus’ to disengage but did not go deeper on those terms; while the Chinese spokesperson referred to the situation as ‘cool’.

While the marathon meeting is presently under analysis, it is now arising that both the generals forcefully put out claims of their respective armies along the 1,587 km Line of Actual Control (LAC) in East Ladakh.

“There is consensus between both sides to mutually disengage after deliberating on each contested point. The process may take a couple of weeks as the ground commanders will have to verify the disengagement and the thinning out in the depth on a daily basis. It is true that both Chinese and Indian army did force accretion after the June 15 Galwan flare up. There has been no addition of forces since the June 22 military commanders’ meeting,” a senior military commander had said.

The military commanders of India and China have reportedly arrived at a consensus on ‘outstanding issues’ and have agreed to take measures to cool down the situation, the Chinese Foreign Ministry announced on Tuesday.

However, tensions are high between India and China as the Government of India has given powers to the armed forces to make emergency procurements to stock up its war reserves amid tension building up on the LAC.

Air Force assets, including fighters, have been moved up to forward locations.

Navy has also been given the go-ahead to deploy its assets near the Malacca Strait and, if needed, anywhere else in the Indo-Pacific to counter Chinese action

Economic Times had reported that the government did not want to leave anything to chance at this stage, especially after the violence in Galwan which left atleast 20 Indian soldiers dead.

Prime Minster of India Narendra Modi has said that the ‘sacrifices of soldiers’ along the border with China will not go in vain. India wants peace but is capable of giving befitting reply, if instigated, he said.

The external affairs ministry has said the escalation in Galwan Valley of Ladakh happened “as a result of an attempt by the Chinese side to unilaterally change the status quo there”.

China has accused India of crossing the border and attacking Chinese personnel, and called on India to “not take unilateral actions or stir up trouble.”

The armies of India and China are locked in a tense standoff at three points in eastern Ladakh, wherein China has reportedly occupied 60 sq. kilometres of territory claimed by India.

A Chinese diplomat reacting to the standoff in Ladakh has said that the move is linked to the Indian government’s unilateral decision to scrap Article 370 in August last year.

The move changed the laws that prohibited Indians from buying land in Kashmir, and made the constitution of Jammu and Kashmir defunct, triggering fears of demographic change in the Muslim majority region of Kashmir.

When India scrapped Jammu and Kashmir’s special status on August 5 last year, the Chinese foreign ministry had issued two statements criticising the development, including one that focused on the splitting of the state into union territories.

This statement, while urging India to be “cautious” on the border issue and to avoid “actions that further complicate the border issue”, said: “China has always opposed India’s inclusion of Chinese territory in India’s administrative jurisdiction in the western part of the Sino-Indian border.” This was a reference to the area in Ladakh that New Delhi claims but is controlled by Beijing.

 

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