SRINAGAR: Despite no significant breakthrough in the 20th round of military talks between India and China last month, the two nations have engaged in ongoing discussions at local levels in recent days. The aim is to prevent complications during readjustments along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in Eastern Ladakh ahead of the impending harsh winter season lasting over three months.
According to officials, who spoke to Daily Excelsior these talks constitute Confidence Building Measures (CBMs) established during the Corps Commander level discussions on October 9 and 10 at Chushul Moldo in Eastern Ladakh. “Though no headway could be achieved on further disengagement during talks, it was decided that both sides will continue dialogue and take CBMs,” they stated, emphasising that the recent local-level talks are part of the agreed CBMs.
The ongoing talks, now in their second week, may extend for a few more days depending on requirements, the officials added. Describing the regular local-level talks as a positive sign, they believe it will contribute to normalizing relations and maintaining peace, especially as the harsh winter approaches along the LAC.
These local-level discussions primarily address minor issues arising from adjustments for the winter to prevent major problems. However, the officials suggest that Corps Commander level talks are expected to resume after some time, possibly after the harsh winters, following discussions on August 13 and 14 and subsequently on October 9 and 10.
During the 20th round of military talks in October, no significant progress was reported on the ground. However, both nations committed to sustaining dialogue through various military and diplomatic channels while upholding peace and tranquillity. India has been advocating for access to its old patrolling points along the LAC and early disengagement at remaining friction points, including legacy areas like Depsang Plains and Demchok.
Despite some resolution in friction points over the last three years, including Galwan Valley, north and south banks of Pangong Tso, and the Gogra-Hot Springs area, active friction points persist, such as Depsang Plains and Demchok. Since the Galwan clash in June 2020, no major confrontations have occurred between Indian troops and the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) of China, although minor issues arising from their close proximity are resolved through talks.