India, China to hold 9th Corps Commander-level talks on Sunday
The military commanders of India and China will reportedly meet on January 24 to hold the ninth round of Corps Commander-level talks to address the ongoing military standoff and defuse the border tensions in the Eastern Ladakh region. The talks will be held in Moldo on the Chinese side of the Line of Actual Control (LAC), said officials familiar with the development. Here's more.
The situation in eastern Ladakh remains tense as the ongoing military dialogue between the two countries didn't lead to any breakthrough yet. The eighth round of talks between India and Chinese military commanders was held on November 6. During that round, the Indian Army and Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) said they will ensure their front-line soldiers "exercise restraint and avoid misunderstanding and miscalculation."
"Both sides (India and China) have agreed to hold the next round of the senior commander level meeting soon and we are in close communication over diplomatic and military channels in this regard," External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Anurag Srivastava said on Friday.
On January 12, Indian Army Chief General Manoj Mukund Naravane sent a clear message to China, saying while India was committed to resolve the standoff through talks, one shouldn't make the mistake of testing its patience. He said the Indian Army was ready to stand its ground in Ladakh until national objectives are achieved even if the ongoing diplomatic and military talks are prolonged.
Meanwhile, experts say the talks between India and China are deadlocked due to differences in the conditions of disengagement. In fact, India and China are both prepared for a long haul in Ladakh and are also firm about holding the forward positions at the LAC. Though China reportedly moved about 10,000 soldiers from depth areas to rear positions recently, its frontline deployments are unchanged.
Naravane had also said that India should not "read too much" into the recent Chinese troops' withdrawal from the depth areas as there has been no real reduction in the number of troops at friction points on either side in Ladakh. India and China have been embroiled in a bitter military standoff in the Ladakh sector for nine months now.
Naravane said that India wants to reach an agreement with China over the military standoff based on the principles of "mutual and equal security." He said this would lead to disengagement of the troops at friction points and the subsequent de-escalation of the Ladakh conflict.