India-China standoff: Seventh round of military talks 'positive and constructive'

After months of standoff along the LAC (Line of Actual Control), there finally seems to be some hope of a resolution. India and China, after an eleven-hour long meeting, have finally agreed to focus on a mutually acceptable solution for disengagement. The 7th Corps Commander level meeting between the two countries ended at around 11:30 pm on October 12 (Monday).

India had gone into the meeting in Chushul with the aim of pressing for early and complete disengagement of troops by China from all contentious points in eastern Ladakh.

An official statement by both the armies said, "discussions were positive, constructive and had enhanced understanding of each other’s positions."

The statement further read, "Both sides agreed to maintain dialogue and communication through military and diplomatic channels, and arrive at a mutually acceptable solution for disengagement as early as possible."

"Both sides agreed to earnestly implement the important understandings reached by the leaders of the two countries, not to turn differences into disputes, and jointly safeguard peace and tranquillity in the border areas," said the joint press release.

The China Study Group (CSG), comprising Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar, National Security Advisor Ajit Doval, Chief of Defence Staff Gen Bipin Rawat and three service chiefs, had finalised India's strategy for the military talks on October 9 (Friday).

India and China are in a standoff at the Line of Actual Control since April. Several rounds of diplomatic and military talks have not yielded results in scaling down tensions. In fact, both the countries have made heavy deployment of troops along the LAC in Ladakh, the main friction point. Both the armies look prepared to take on the extreme winter chill of the region but are not ready to budge from their stands.

Meanwhile, China has asserted that it recognises the 1959 LAC, which is not at all acceptable to India.

The India-China standoff began in April after Chinese troops crossed the Line of Actual Control and entered into Ladakh, Indian territory. Expansionist Beijing has been claiming the Ladakh area as its own territory and objecting to road construction activities in the region by the Indian government.

Source: DNA India