India, China to discuss disengagement at Gogra-Hot Springs next
The 11th round of talks to resolve the border row between India and China this month is reportedly surround around disengagement in the Gogra-Hot Springs area of eastern Ladakh. Reportedly, the restoration of unhindered patrolling rights in the Depsang bulge area will also be discussed. India and China have been engaged in a border row in Ladakh since last May.
Citing progress at the March 12 meeting of the Working Mechanism for Consultation and Coordination on border affairs, sources told Hindustan Times that the two sides will likely discuss disengagement at Gogra-Hot Springs during the next round of talks. "The WMCC meeting was positive," a top government official added, citing agreements to ensure stability in Ladakh and hold the next round of military-level talks.
Indian and Chinese forces have clashed at various locations along the Line of Actual Control in Ladakh since last May. One such clash in the Galwan Valley had turned fatal as 20 Indian soldiers and some Chinese soldiers were martyred. The two sides have held multiple rounds of diplomatic and military-level talks to quell tensions. The last military talks were held in February.
Reportedly, China's People's Liberation Army (PLA) was moving heavy equipment from the LAC to its headquarters in Rutog county near the northern bank of Pangong Lake. A military commander told HT that the PLA was concentrating its deployment in Tibet and Xinjiang region. This would allow the PLA to reach the LAC in a very short time.
All airbases servicing the east Ladakh region have blast pens protecting fighters from bombing during an attack, HT reported. These include the Hotan, Gar Gunsa, Lhasa, Yarkand, and Kashgar airbases. Further, the PLA is electronically surveilling the region through radars and sensors, it added.
A former Indian Army chief told HT, "It's quite evident the PLA will monitor the LAC through electronic surveillance in the future with land force and air force kept on standby in the nearby bases." "This way the PLA will not have to station its troops in high altitude posts in subpolar temperatures while the capacity of the Red Army to deploy remains intact."