India-China LAC issue: Stage set for next round of Corps Commander level talks; Disengagement from the friction points to be addressed

By: |
April 08, 2021 3:34 PM

According to reports there seems to be a movement of the Chinese PLA ground forces into the plains of Aksai Chin, which according to sources appears to be preparation of their annual summer drills.

The stand-off lasted nine long months along the LAC in eastern Ladakh.The stand-off lasted nine long months along the LAC in eastern Ladakh.

One year over, the Indian and Chinese sides are set to meet for the next round of Corps Commander-level talks. Though the dates have not been formally announced, sources based reports indicate the talks are set to take place on Friday (April 8, 2021) between the two sides. According to sources in the Indian Army, the talks will be focused on resolving the pending issues including the friction points at the Depsang Plains, Demchok, Gogra and Hot Springs. The talks between the two sides are taking place when the winters are over and the second phase of disengagement should start, and the Chinese PLA continues to be present on the Indian perception of the LAC.

According to reports there seems to be a movement of the Chinese PLA ground forces into the plains of Aksai Chin, which according to sources appears to be preparation of their annual summer drills.

In April 2020, under the pretence of summer drills, the Chinese PLA had moved in towards the Line of Actual Control. And as reported earlier by Financial Express Online, this led to a major stand-off between the Indian and Chinese forces. The stand-off lasted nine long months along the LAC in eastern Ladakh.

At the end of several rounds of marathon talks at the military and diplomatic levels, both India and China had agreed to the withdrawal of troops and weapons from the South and North banks of Pangong Lake. This was in line with an agreement on disengagement between the two sides. Earlier this year in February, once the two sides completed the first phase of disengagement military commanders had another round of talks and focused on taking forward the process of disengagement at other friction points.

Recap

Last summer, intelligence reports which were generated by multiple agencies; the ITBP, IA, R&AW, IB, State Intelligence and others had indicated that the Chinese troops had come inside around 12.5 km on the Indian side of the LAC. Thereafter, the intelligence gathering has been further strengthened and that is how the Indian Army was able to take action in August 2020, which ensured that the Chinese troops were taken by surprise.

The Indian Army and other agencies are maintaining a 24×7 ISR and watching any movement by the Chinese troops. Though in the first Phase of disengagement, the troops had moved back about 100-150 km from the LAC, they remained in bases around the G-219 highway. And this highway cuts through Aksai Chin.

What happened in August 2020?

Last August the Chinese PLA had successfully fortified gun positions on the ridgelines of Finger 4.

These positions according to the army were overlooking the Indian positions and it was in response to this last August the Indian troops had achieved the most critical tactical advantage on the South bank of Pangong Tso. They set up positions around the Finger 4.

Phase I of disengagement

Financial Express Online has reported earlier, that in the first round of disengagement, the Chinese PLA troops had cleared the Finger 4 area on the North Bank of the Pangong Tso Lake. Also, the huge map of China which was engraved near Finger 5 has already been cleared as well the big heavy structures and defences which were raised by the Chinese between Finger 8 to Finger 4 were cleared out. There were reports that indicated the disengagement process at the Patrolling Points (PP) 15 and 17A, being completed.

Will the Corps Commanders talk about Depsang Plains?

According to sources, it will be on the agenda of talks, as this is a critical area and the Chinese PLA troops are not letting the Indian soldiers carry out patrolling up to PPs 10-13 located in the Depsang plains.

Present position of the forces

The number of Indian troops which had been deployed along the LAC remains there and the Indian Air Force (IAF) too has not scaled down its presence in Ladakh and close by areas. And the Chinese troops are also maintaining their troops deployment around the region and have their air force deployed in Tibet.

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