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No progress in India-China military dialogue on disengagement in eastern Ladakh | India News

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NEW DELHI: There was no breakthrough yet again in the marathon India-China military talks on Friday, with the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) struggling to even complete the stalled troop withdrawal process in eastern Ladakh as one step. towards the proposal. de-escalation along the border.
The utter lack of progress in the 11th round of the corps commander-level talks, which in turn occurred 50 days after the last one, was also evident in the fact that India and China did not issue a joint statement this time. unlike the previous rounds. .
Sources said “no action plan could be finalized” to complete the partial troop withdrawal at Gogra, Hot Springs and Demchok, let alone any progress on the much more intractable issue of blocking Indian patrols on the plains. from Depsang, strategically located, during the 13-Hour of Military Dialogue in Chushul on Friday.
“The PLA did not agree to withdraw troops from the friction sites at patrol points (PP) 15, 17 and 17A in the Hot Springs-Gogra-Kongka La area, where it also maintains considerable force in the areas rear. The de-escalation in Depsang is not on the horizon, ”said a source.
The Indian statement on Saturday noted that in the context of both parties agreeing on the need to resolve the issues, “it was stressed that the completion of the disconnect in other areas would pave the way for two parties to consider reducing forces and ensuring restoration. complete peace and tranquility and enable the advancement of bilateral relations ”.
The commanders of the rival corps, of course, will meet again after consulting their respective political-military hierarchies. “The two parties agreed on the need to resolve pending issues expeditiously in accordance with existing agreements and protocols,” the Defense Ministry statement said.
The two delegations, led by the 14th Corps commander, Lieutenant General PGK Menon and the head of the southern Xinjiang military district, Major General Liu Lin, also agreed to continue to “jointly maintain stability on the ground, avoid further incidents. and jointly maintain peace in the border areas ”.
“The two parties agreed that it was important to follow the guidance of their leaders’ consensus, continue their communication and dialogue, and work towards a mutually acceptable resolution of the remaining issues as soon as possible,” he added.
The lack of progress in the talks is likely to reinforce major concerns that India should have used its main bargaining lever of occupying the heights of the Kailash mountain range to extract some concessions from China on the Depsang Plains, rather than squandering them. just by disconnecting on the “finger”. area on the north shore of Pangong Tso in February.
But the government’s argument is that the “immediate and urgent priority” then was to ensure that the balloon-to-eye confrontation of troops on both sides of Pangong Tso, with tanks and howitzers facing each other, did not lead to an inadvertent vertical escalation. .
The intrusion in the area of ​​the “finger” was also considered the most serious of the Chinese transgressions. Furthermore, the Depsang issue is a persistent issue since 2013, which needs to be addressed separately, he said.
Just a fortnight ago, the army chief himself, General MM Naravanehad, warned that the “threat has only diminished” with the successful withdrawal of troops on both sides of Pangong Tso, but “it has not completely disappeared” as the EPL still maintained its considerable force of troops in the “rear areas” as before. “The de-escalation will take place only when these elements return to their garrisons,” he had said.

Times of India

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