Ladakh Standoff: 17th Round Of Talks With China's PLA Likely To Take Place On 20 November, Report Says

by Swarajya Staff - Nov 16, 2022 06:35 PM +05:30 IST
Ladakh Standoff: 17th Round Of Talks With China's PLA Likely To Take Place On 20 November, Report SaysGeneral Manoj Pande visited forward areas in Ladakh in May 2022. (Indian Army/Twitter)

The 17th round of Corps Commander-level talks between the Indian Army and the People's Liberation Army of China is likely to take place on 20 November, a report in the Hindustan Times says.

"...the 17th round of military commanders meeting expected to take place on 20 November even though the dates are still to be finalized," it reads.

The report comes just days after Army Chief General Manoj Pande said India and China had disengaged from five friction points in eastern Ladakh that emerged in May 2020.

However, progress has yet to be made in Depsang in northeastern Ladakh and Demchok in the southeastern part of the union territory.

The disagreements between India and China at the two locations emerged much before the ongoing standoff in eastern Ladakh began. These have been termed "legacy issues" by the Indian Army.

The Chief of Army Staff also referred to last month's talks between the two sides under the framework Working Mechanism for Consultation and Coordination (WMCC) on the India-China Border Affairs.

"We are looking on the next date for the 17th round (of military talks) and that is where I believe through dialogue, we hope to find resolution in these two areas (Demchok and Depsang)," he said.

The 16th round of high-level military talks took place on 17 July. In line with a decision at the meeting, the two sides carried out disengagement from Patrolling Point 15 in the Gogra-Hotsprings area in September.

General Pande said the situation along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in eastern Ladakh is "stable but unpredictable."

On China's infrastructure development along the LAC in eastern Ladakh, the Army Chief said it is going on "unabated" and that they are constructing helipads, airfields, and roads right up to the passes.

"One of the notable developments has been the G695 highway which is parallel to the LAC which will give them the ability not only to move forces forward but also switch forces from one sector to another," he said.

"As far as our preparations are concerned, our transition to the winter posture is currently underway. But We have also made sure that we have adequate forces and adequate reserves to be able to deal with any contingency," he added.

China has also upgraded its airbases by increasing the length of its runways to eliminate the disadvantages it faces due to high altitude. It has developed new infrastructure, including a bridge over Pangong Lake, to make the deployment of troops faster and easier.

India is also building roads, bridges, and tunnels along the border with Tibet to reduce the gap with China. It has built 2,088 kilometers of roads in areas along the LAC with China in the last five years.

The Indian Army has built habitats for over 35,000 troops in eastern Ladakh, General Pande said in September this year.

He added that India had built a "significant level" of border infrastructure in the region, including bases and garages for 450 tanks and armoured personnel carriers, and 350 artillery systems and howitzers.

Modi, Xi shake hands in Bali

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping shook hands Tuesday at a side event at the G20 Summit in Bali.

Prime Minister Modi and President Xi, who were both attending the G20 dinner hosted by Indonesian President Widodo, exchanged courtesies after the dinner, official sources said when asked about the interaction between the two leaders.

The two leaders, who were both attending the G20 dinner hosted by Indonesian President Widodo, exchanged courtesies at the conclusion of the dinner, official sources said when asked about the interaction.

There had been no one-on-one interactions between the two leaders since the clashes in the Galwan Valley in June 2020.

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