Stage is getting set for India and China’s 14th round of Corps Commander Talks later this week.
The talks according to officials are expected to take place on January 12, 2022, just a couple of days ahead of the Indian Army Day. This round of talks is expected to focus on the process of disengagement and de-escalation in eastern Ladakh.
Financial Express Online had reported in October 2021, that the 13th round of talks between the two sides had ended in a stalemate.
Who will lead the talks this time?
During the 14th round of Corps Commander talks between the two sides will be led by Lt Gen Anindya Sengupta. Last week, he took over as the General Officer Commanding (GOC) of the Leh-based 14 Corps.
Was he present during the 13th round?
Yes. He was present during the Corps Commander talks last October.
According to sources, this time the talks are taking place even as China has recently adopted a new Land Boundary Law. The new law, which became operational on January 1, 2022, is meant for the protection and exploitation of China’s land border areas.
Besides the new Land Boundary Law, China has also been busy expanding its infrastructure in the region. As reported earlier, it has gone into a major construction of a bridge across the Pangong Tso. This bridge, according to sources, is going to help the Chinese troops to move faster and will also cut down the distance for movement between the two banks of Pangong Tso – North and South Banks.
What happened during the 13th round?
The talks at that time had ended in a stalemate and there was no confirmed date for the next round of talks.
As reported earlier, the Chinese side had blamed the Indian side for making ‘’unrealistic and unreasonable demand.” And the Indian side had maintained that in an effort to resolve the pending issues had made “constructive suggestions.”
In October, 2021, the focus areas of the 13th round of talks were Hot Springs, Gogra, and the Depsang Plains. To keep the Line of Actual Control peaceful, de-escalation is mandatory as well as desirable.
According to officials, China has been very reluctant to discuss Demchok and Depsang and they continue to maintain that these two areas are not part of the standoff. And, India on the other hand has been insisting and during talk is focusing on de-escalation and dis-engagement in eastern Ladakh.
It’s been more than 21 months that several rounds of talks between the two sides have taken place at both diplomatic as well as military level. There have been efforts made at the political level too. And the outcome so far has been agreements in February 2021, between India and China to disengage from both sides Pangong Tso, this was followed in August by disengagement from Patrolling Point 17 in the Gogra area, in addition to Galwan.