India, China top military-level talks today: What we know so far

WION Web Team New Delhi, Delhi, India Jun 06, 2020, 01.25 PM(IST)

India China talks Photograph:( Reuters )

Story highlights

The India-China border dispute covers the 3,488-km-long LAC. China claims Arunachal Pradesh as part of southern Tibet while India contests it. Both sides have been asserting that pending the final resolution of the boundary issue, it is necessary to maintain peace and tranquillity in the border areas.

India and China military top brass are slated to begin talks to resolve the stand-off situation in eastern Ladakh region -- particularly at north bank of Pangong Tso where the Chinese People's Liberation Army has attempted to change status quo.

The other motive is de-escalation of forces across the Line of Actual Control. The talks were held at the Border Personnel Meeting Point in Maldo on the Chinese side of the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in Eastern Ladakh.

The India-China border dispute covers the 3,488-km-long LAC. China claims Arunachal Pradesh as part of southern Tibet while India contests it. Both sides have been asserting that pending the final resolution of the boundary issue, it is necessary to maintain peace and tranquillity in the border areas.

Indian military delegation is headed by the commander of Leh-based 14 Corp Lieutenant General Harinder Singh and the Chinese are led by Major General Liu Lin, Commander of South Xinjiang Military Region.

Without specifically mentioning 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."

Saturday's meeting 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.

The high-level military dialogue took place 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.

Also read | India-China talk diplomacy ahead of military talks on border row

The situation in eastern Ladakh deteriorated after around 250 Chinese and Indian soldiers were engaged in a violent face-off on May 5 and 6. The incident in Pangong Tso was followed by a similar incident in north Sikkim on May 9. 

It is learnt that two sides are also engaged in diplomatic talks to find a solution to the face-off which is turning out to be the most serious military standoff between the two armies after the Doklam episode of 2017.

In 2017, there was a 73-day stand-off between India and China. The standoff was at the India-China-Bhutan tri-junction Doklam. China's road construction in Bhutanese territory was seen as an attempt to change the status quo by India and finally the road work had to be stopped.

Also watch | Indian Defence Minister Rajnath Singh backs Bilateral talks with China

After the standoff began early last month, the Indian military leadership decided that Indian troops would adopt a firm approach dealing with the aggressive posturing by the Chinese troops in all disputed areas of Pangong Tso, Galwan Valley, Demchok and Daulat Beg Oldie.

Sources further pointed out that the standoff was not a spontaneous reaction to India's road construction in Ladakh. Unusual activities were first noticed in few weeks before that clash.

China on Friday said that it is committed to properly resolve the relevant issue with India.

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 upgrading a military airbase around 180 km from the Pangong Tso area.

Both the sides are expected to deliberate on specific proposals to end the month-long bitter standoff in eastern Ladakh during the first extensive talks between the Indian and Chinese military.

Also read | India, China to hold Lieutenant General-level talks on June 6 to address ongoing dispute in eastern Ladakh

(with inputs from agencies)