Indian and Chinese armies hold Lt-General-level talks
Eastern Ladakh standoff
New Delhi: Indian and Chinese armies on Saturday held high-level military talks with a “positive” approach, signalling an intent to end their month-long bitter standoff in mountainous eastern Ladakh through peaceful dialogue, people aware of the development said.
The Indian delegation was led by Lt General Harinder Singh, the General Officer Commanding of Leh-based 14 Corps, while the Chinese side was headed by the Commander of the Tibet Military District, government sources said.
The talks at the Border Personnel Meeting Point in Maldo on the Chinese side of the Line of Actual Control in Chushul sector was scheduled to begin at around 8:30 AM, but was deferred by over three hours due to bad weather in the high-altitude region, the sources said.
They said the Indian delegation was warmly greeted by senior officials of the Chinese Army before the talks began.
Neither the Army nor the Ministry of External Affairs provided any details about the much-anticipated talks.
Without specifically mentioning about the talks, an Indian Army Spokesperson said: “Indian and Chinese officials continue to remain engaged through the established military and diplomatic channels to address the current situation in the India-China border areas.”
The Lt General-level dialogue took place after 12 rounds of talks between local commanders of the two armies and three rounds of discussions at the level of major general-rank officials could not produce any tangible outcome, the sources said.
It also came a day after the two countries held diplomatic talks during which both sides agreed to handle their “differences” through peaceful discussions while respecting each other’s sensitivities and concerns.
Earlier, sources said the delegation will also raise its objection to the huge military build up by the Chinese troops in the region.
After the standoff began in early last month, Indian military leadership decided that Indian troops will adopt a firm approach in dealing with the aggressive posturing by the Chinese troops in all disputed areas of Pangong Tso, Galwan Valley, Demchok and Daulat Beg Oldie.
The Chinese army is learnt to have deployed around 2,500 troops in Pangong Tso and Galwan Valley besides gradually enhancing temporary infrastructure and weaponry.
The sources said satellite images have captured significant ramping up of defence infrastructure by China on its side of the LAC, the de-facto border, including by upgrading a military airbase around 180 km from the Pangong Tso area.
The Chinese Army has been gradually ramping up its strategic reserves in its rear bases near the the LAC by rushing in artillery guns, infantry combat vehicles and heavy military equipment, the sources said.
China has also enhanced its presence in certain areas along the Line of Actual Control in Northern Sikkim and Uttarakhand following which India has also been its presence by sending additional troops, they said.
The trigger for the face-off was China’s stiff opposition to India laying a key road in the Finger area around the Pangong Tso Lake besides construction of another road connecting the Darbuk-Shayok-Daulat Beg Oldie road in Galwan Valley.
The road in the Finger area in Pangong Tso is considered crucial for India to carry out patrol. India has already decided not to stall any border infrastructure projects in eastern Ladakh in view of Chinese protests.
The situation in eastern Ladakh deteriorated after around 250 Chinese and Indian soldiers were engaged in a violent face-off on May 05 and 06. The incident in Pangong Tso was followed by a similar incident in north Sikkim on May 09.
India, China remain engaged through diplomatic, military channels: Army
Asks media to refrain from ‘speculative and unsubstantiated reporting’
New Delhi: Indian and Chinese officials continue to remain engaged through the established military and diplomatic channels to address the current situation in the India-China border areas, the Indian Army said on Saturday.
The statement came in the midst of the high-level military dialogue between the two sides to resolve the current border standoff in eastern Ladakh.
On Friday, the two countries held diplomatic talks during which they agreed to handle their “differences” through peaceful discussions while respecting each other’s sensitivities and concerns.
In the talks, the two sides also agreed to settle differences in accordance with guidance provided by leadership of two countries, in a reference to decisions taken by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping at an informal summit in Chinese city of Wuhan in 2018.
“Indian and Chinese officials continue to remain engaged through the established military and diplomatic channels to address the current situation in the India-China border areas,” the Indian Army said in a statement.
“At this stage therefore any speculative and unsubstantiated reporting about these engagements would not be helpful and the media is advised to refrain from such reporting,” it said without providing any details about the high-level dialogue.