India, China Hold 14th Round of Military Talks to Resolve Eastern Ladakh Standoff

On Wednesday, the 14th round of India-China military talks failed to produce any positive results, but both countries agreed to work toward mutually acceptable solutions to the Ladakh LAC standoff. The next round is expected to take place soon in order to keep the momentum of the discussions going.

While both sides are expected to issue press statements today, the Indian side appears to have failed to persuade the PLA to disengage from Gogra-Hot Springs near Kongka La and resolve patrolling rights issues in Depsang Bulge in the Daulet Beg Oldi sector and Charding Nullah Junction in the Demchok sector.

The talks were constructive but without a positive outcome, and finding mutually acceptable solutions is still a work in progress, in diplomatic terms. This means that both the Indian Army and PLA commanders will continue to engage in the future, but there is no guarantee that the PLA will restore the status quo in Gogra-Hot Springs by April 2020, or resolve the Depsang Bulge or CNJ issue.

The Indian Army reportedly raised the issue of the Chinese Army building a bridge over Pangong Tso, east of Srijap Complex, to allow for faster troop deployment and militarization of the occupied Aksai Chin area all along the 597-kilometer Ladakh LAC.

The fact is that the PLA is converting the 3,488 km line into a Line of Control, thanks to new border laws and rapid military and technological upgrades on their side of the unresolved LAC.

Since the Chinese Army, acting on orders from President Xi Jinping’s Central Military Commission, unilaterally changed the LAC and imposed the rejected 1959 cartographical line on the Ladakh LAC in May 2020, both the Indian and PLA armies have been locked in a standoff all along the Ladakh LAC. Since then, both sides have deployed more than three divisions of troops, with missile, rocket, artillery, and tank regiments on each side, with the Air Force on standby in the hinterland. In May 2020, the PLA violated bilateral peace and tranquilly agreements signed at the level of heads of state in the Pangong Tso, Galwan, Gogra-Hot Springs area.

While this is the new normal for China’s wolf warrior diplomats, the Modi government has rejected these aggressions and decided to put bilateral relations on hold until Beijing resolves the Ladakh LAC.

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