India, China fail to break the ice over the standoff in Eastern Ladakh

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India and China failed to break the ice over the standoff in the remaining areas of the Eastern Ladakh along the Line of Actual Control (LAC). While India pointed to Chinese disagreement to its “constructive suggestions” for resolution, the Chinese side blamed India for “persisting in its unreasonable and unrealistic demands.”

The Chinese Senior Colonel Long Shaohua, spokesperson for the Western Theater Command of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA), on Monday said “(T)he Chinese side made great efforts to promote easing and cooling of the border situation and fully demonstrated China’s sincerity of maintaining overall interests of bilateral military relations. However, the Indian side still persisted in its unreasonable and unrealistic demands, which added difficulties to the negotiations.”

Responding to the Chinese statement the Indian Army said, “The Indian side pointed out that the situation along the LAC had been caused by unilateral attempts of the Chinese side to alter the status quo and in violation of the bilateral agreements. It was, therefore, necessary that the Chinese side take appropriate steps in the remaining areas so as to restore peace and tranquillity along the LAC in the Western Sector.”

“During the meeting, the Indian side, therefore, made constructive suggestions for resolving the remaining areas but the Chinese side was not agreeable and also could not provide any forward-looking proposals. The meeting thus did not result in resolution of the remaining areas,” said Indian Army.

The 13th India-China Corps Commanders meet was held on October 10 at the Moldo-Chushul border meeting point on the Chinese side. During the meeting, the discussions between the two sides focussed on the resolution of the remaining issues along the LAC in Eastern Ladakh.

As per the Ministry, the two sides have agreed to maintain communications and also to maintain stability on the ground. “It is our expectation that the Chinese side will take into account the overall perspective of bilateral relations and will work towards early resolution of the remaining issues while fully abiding by bilateral agreements and protocols,” Army said.

There are around 60,000 troops each from the Indian Army and the Chinese PLA deployed near the LAC in Eastern Ladakh with tense standoffs at Hot Spring, Depsang, and Demchok. There were standoffs also at Galwan, Gogra, and the North and South banks of the Pangong Lake and the troops have mutually disengaged after the resolutions achieved during a series of 12 previous Corps Commanders’ talks.

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