The eighth round of Corps Commander-level talks is set to be held between the Indian Army and the Chinese PLA today. During the talks, the Indian Army will press for comprehensive disengagement of troops by the Chinese PLA from all the friction points in eastern Ladakh.
The talks are slated to begin at 9:30 am in Chushul on the Indian side of the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in eastern Ladakh, the sources said on Thursday.
Nearly 50,000 Indian Army troops are currently deployed in a high state of combat readiness in various mountainous locations in eastern Ladakh in sub-zero conditions as multiple rounds of talks between the two sides have not yielded concrete outcome to resolve the six-month-long military standoff.
The last round of Corps Commander-level talks had taken place on October 12 but there was no breakthrough on the disengagement of troops from the friction points. The standoff between the two sides erupted in early May.
External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar recently said the ties between India and China have come under “severe stress” and that the agreements inked by both sides on the management of the border must be respected “scrupulously” in their “entirety” to restore normalcy in relations.
The Indian delegation at the eighth round of military talks will be led by Lt Gen PGK Menon, the newly-appointed Commander of the Leh-based 14 Corps.
Meanwhile, the People’s Liberation Army heavily deployed its troops along the Line of Actual Control in Ladakh’s Chushul district, which was followed by Indian Army changing its positions from “border management” to “border securing,” a Hindustan Times report read.
China has been deploying fighter and bomber aircraft to its bases in Tibet ever since tension over Ladakh started rising in May, The Week reported.
Earlier, China demanded that India withdraw its armed forces personnel from China-India border in order to avoid escalation of tensions.
China has reportedly built surface-to-air missiles near a lake, which is a part of the Kailash-Mansarovar.
On August, 31, Indian army informed that Chinese troops “carried out provocative military movements to change the status quo” near Pangong Tso lake in Ladakh, and they were blocked by the Indian armed forces personnel manning the area, the government said.
A Brigade Commander level Flag Meeting was later held at Chushul to resolve the issues, as per the Government of India situation update.
As New Delhi claims that both India and China will “continue to sincerely work towards complete disengagement” of armed forces personnel, talks aimed at resolving the military standoff along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in Ladakh, has so far yielded no results.
A Chinese diplomat reacting to the standoff in Ladakh had 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.