India, China hold 18th round of corps commander talks to resolve military standoff

Unresolved issues being taken up in meeting in Eastern Ladakh sector taking place after a gap of five months as both sides engage in rapid construction activities along border areas to strengthen their respective positions

By ANI

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Published: Sun 23 Apr 2023, 4:45 PM

Seeking to resolve a three-year-old military standoff, India and China are holding the 18th round of Corps Commander Level talks on Sunday at the Chushul-Moldo meeting point in the Eastern Ladakh sector.

From the Indian side, the meeting is led by Fire and Fury Corps Commander Lt Gen Rashim Bali and an equivalent rank officer from the Chinese side. The meeting is taking place in the eastern Ladakh sector, defence sources told ANI.

This meeting is taking place after a gap of five months. The last meeting between the two sides at the Corps Commander level was held in December last year. The meeting is taking place when both sides are engaged in rapid construction activities along the border areas to strengthen their respective positions.

The Indian side has been raising the issue of the Depsang plains, Demchok and disengagement by both sides repeatedly.

The corps commander-level talks started to resolve the matters between the two sides in the eastern Ladakh area after the Chinese side tried to alter the status quo on the Line of Actual Control (LAC) by aggressively moving forward with heavy weaponry and a large number of troops in 2020 during the initial period of the Covid pandemic.

The two sides have however disengaged, and have moved to new positions to avoid confrontations.

In the talks, the two sides have agreed to stay in close contact and maintain dialogue through military and diplomatic channels, and work out a mutually acceptable resolution of the remaining issues at the earliest.

However, the Chinese side does not seem to be in a hurry to resolve the issues and is not allowing any forward movement to take place on the legacy issues like the Depsang plains. They have been blocking Indian patrols to move to their patrolling points in that sector for a long time now.

The Chinese defence minister is also now scheduled to be in India for the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) Defence Ministers' meetings next week in New Delhi.

The chances of de-escalation in the near future by the two sides don't seem very bright and the Indian side is continuing to deploy heavily in the area to guard against any Chinese attempts to alter the status quo as they keep trying to do.

Indian troops thwarted one such attempt in December last year in Yangtse when a Chinese contingent was forcefully pushed back to its area after they tried to come to Indian positions on the LAC there.

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