Talks between Indian, Chinese military officers get under way

Arun Joshi

Tribune News Service

Jammu, June 30

A third round of Corps Commander-level talks to ease tensions is under way in Chushul following the nearly two-month-long standoff between the Indian and Chinese troops, but an instant major breakthrough is not expected given the complexity of the situation.

Lt Gen Harinder Singh, Commander of 14 Corps, and his Chinese counterpart Major General Liu Lin are meeting for the third time this month to work out an arrangement that takes the troops of both the sides to the April 2020 positions, which means ending the crisis that has resulted in massing of troops and war machinery at the standoff places, Pangong Tso, Demchok, Hot Springs and Galwan Valley.

Both the sides are maintaining their standpoints in these military-level talks. The Indian standpoint is based on the historical facts that China was not there where it is now in eastern Ladakh. Despite their varying perceptions about the Line of Actual Control, the Chinese had never come so deep forcing India to keep its troops ready for any eventuality.

The Indian side has repeatedly cited the June 15 clashes in Galwan Valley where India lost its 20 soldiers, including a commanding officer. China is silent on the details of its casualties, though it has admitted that it has suffered casualties.

Informed sources said Tuesday’s round of talks has been initiated with the objective of ensuring de-escalation of the tense situation, but immediate results may not emerge as the problem is complex. “It is not only about the illegal territorial claims that China has made on the Indian side, but what China has done is that it is seeking strategic advantage by staying put in these territories. This is unacceptable,” a source told The Tribune, on condition of anonymity.

“The Indian stakes are very high, that’s why it is approaching the standoff issue step by step. But the Chinese are behaving in a stubborn fashion and they insist on their claims that neither have historical back-up nor any other thing. That is complicating the matters,” sources said.

They were referring to the Chinese attitude in the previous two rounds of talks on June 6 and June 22.  




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