SOURCE: TIMES NOW
In an attempt to defuse the simmering tensions along the Line of Actual Control (LAC), the Corps commander-level talks between India and China were held on October 12. It is being learnt that the Indian side focussed on the complete disengagement of Chinese troops from the banks of the Pangong Tso lake and other friction points in Ladakh and insisted on the restoration of status quo ante of April.
The meeting of the top Indian and Chinese military representatives lasted for more than 11 hours. Both the delegation met began in Chushul on the Indian side of the LAC in eastern Ladakh. Meanwhile, the chances of early resolution to the Ladakh standoff appeared dim as around 1,00,000 Indian and Chinese tropps remain stationed in the region.
The Indian side was led by Lt Gen Harinder Singh, Joint Secretary from the Ministry of External Affairs, Navin Srivastava will also attend. Ahead of the meeting, the China Study Group (CSG) comprising Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar, National Security Advisor Ajit Doval, Chief of Defence Staff Gen Bipin Rawat, Indian Army Chief Manoj Mukund Naravane, IAF Chief Kumar Singh Bhadauria and Indian Navy Chief Karambir Singh finalised India’s strategy for the military talks on October 9.
India has bolstered its positions on critical mountain heights like Rechin La, Rezang La, Mukpari, and Tabletop, and on the southern bank of the Pangong Lake. The India forces are learnt to have deployed sizeable number of troops near Blacktop also.
India’s move to strengthen above-mentioned key areas were followed after China undertook “provocative military movements” at Pangong Tso. On the intervening night of August 29 and 30 China’s People’s Liberation Army had violated the consensus arrived at during military and diplomatic engagements during an ongoing standoff in eastern Ladakh and carried out provocative military movements to change the status quo. However, the PLA’s move was thwarted by the alert Indian forces.
During the sixth round of military talks, India and China had decided not to send more troops to the frontline and refrain from unilaterally changing the situation on the ground.
The military representatives held the meeting after a five-point agreement was reached between 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 Indian and Chinese armies have been locked in a bitter standoff at multiple locations in eastern Ladakh since May 5. The tension escalated manifold after a violent clash in Galwan Valley in which 20 Indian Army personnel were killed. As per reports, China had lost around 35-40 soldiers, however, Beijing has not released an official statement so far.