Ladakh face-off: More diplomatic, army-level talks in coming days; RM, Army Chief to visit Ladakh

By: |
July 2, 2020 9:32 AM

The development comes one day after Lieutenant General Harinder Singh who is the Commander of XIV Corps held an extensive meeting with South Xinjiang Military Region Commander Major General Liu Lin, Indian Express reported.

The meeting between the top commanders of Army and PLA was convened at the Chushul border point.

India-China standoff in the Eastern Ladakh region will need more meetings and diplomatic level talks to be resolved, top Army sources indicated to the Indian Express in an exclusive report. The development comes one day after Lieutenant General Harinder Singh who is the Commander of XIV Corps held an extensive meeting with South Xinjiang Military Region Commander Major General Liu Lin, Indian Express reported. The meeting between the top commanders of Army and PLA was convened at the Chushul border point.

More such meetings will be needed and are expected in the coming days to arrive at a mutually agreeable solution and ensure tranquility at the border, top army sources were quoted as saying by the Indian Express. The source also said that the process of disengagement at the border was very complex and will need more such talks.

The meeting which lasted for more than 11 hours reached a consensus that an “expeditious, phased and stepwise de-escalation” between the two forces should be prioritised, sources told the Indian Express. Prior to this meeting, two previous meetings between Lt General Singh and Major General Liu Lin were held on June 6 and June 22 at Moldo on the Chinese side of the LAC at Moldo.

As far as the agenda of the Commander level talks is concerned, a top security official told IE that apart from discussion on the disengagement at the Galwan valley and Hot Springs region, the Chinese side resisted any attempts to discuss the situation at the Pangong Tso region or Depsang area. Apart from Galwan valley, which has been a non-contested region in the past, the Indian forces are facing the Chinese side at Pangong Tso and Depsang area.

Echoing the understanding established at the latest meeting between the Commanders of the two armed forces, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson said that the two sides will continue working towards implementing the consensus reached at the earlier Commander level talks. It added that China welcomed the effective progress in the measures needed for the disengagement of troops and de-escalation of the situation. We hope that the Indian side will work towards the same goal with the Chinese side and reduce the temperature along the border, the statement further said.

Sources told Indian Express that the bottomline is to avoid Galwan valley like incidents between the two forces which led to the death of 20 Indian soldiers on June 15. They also said that the Indian side has been impressing upon the Chinese side to restore the status quo at the LAC in conjunction with the position of the troops in the month of April. However, there is fear that the failure of the talks could permanently turn the LAC with the Chinese into a “hardened all season LAC”. Citing the example of Kargil-Dras sector on the border with Pakistan, the official said that before the Kargil war in 1999, the deployment of troops in the sector was never round the clock throughout the year.

In a related development, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh flanked by Army Chief MM Naravane and Northern Army Commander Lieutenant General YK Joshi will visit the forward posts of the Ladakh region and interact with the troops. This will be the first visit of Singh to Ladakh region after the tensions flared up at the LAC between the two countries.

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