No Breakthrough In China-India Border Talks, Round 13: Reports

SRINAGAR: The 13th round of Sino Indian talks have not had any major breakthrough as the two sides failed to resolve the pending issues in Eastern Ladakh, Chandigarh newspaper, Tribune reported. The talks were held at the Chushul-Moldo border point on the Chinese side in eastern Ladakh on Sunday and they lasted for around eight and half hours.

Diwali: Ceremonial border personnel meet held between Indian Army, Chinese PLA in Ladakh in October 2019

“The Indian side made constructive suggestions for resolving the remaining areas but the Chinese side did not agree and also could not provide any forward-looking proposals. The meeting thus did not result in resolution of the remaining areas,” the Indian Army told the newspaper.

The Indian Position

During the meeting, discussions between the two sides focused on the resolution of the remaining issues along the LAC in Eastern Ladakh, the newspaper reported. The Indian side pointed out that the situation along the LAC had been caused by unilateral attempts of the Chinese side to alter the status quo and in violation of the bilateral agreements. The Indian side had insisted on restoring the status quo as of April 2020.

General MM Naravane COAS posing for a team group photo with army officers and personnel at forward areas in Eastern Ladakh on Friday, October 1, 2021. Pic: Army Twitter

“It was necessary that the Chinese side take appropriate steps in the remaining areas so as to restore peace and tranquillity along the LAC. This would also be in accordance with the guidance provided by the two Foreign Ministers in their recent meeting in Dushanbe where they had agreed that the two sides should resolve the remaining issues at the earliest,” it reported.

The report said the Indian side took up the stalled disengagement at Patrolling Point 15 (PP-15) as well as issues in Depsang.

China Position

Chinese army, in response “opted to blame India”.

“The Chinese side made great efforts to promote the easing and cooling of the border situation and fully demonstrated China’s sincerity of maintaining overall interests of bilateral military relations,” Senior Colonel Long Shaohua, spokesperson for the Western Theatre Command was quoted saying. “The Indian side still persisted in its unreasonable and unrealistic demands, which added difficulties to the negotiations.”

The Chinese PLA’s Western Theatre Command in a statement said, “India insisted on unreasonable and unrealistic demands, adding difficulties to the negotiations” and that China has made “tremendous efforts to ease and cool down the border situation and fully demonstrated its sincerity.”

The two sides held the 12th round of talks on July 31. Days later, the two armies completed the disengagement process in Gogra, which was seen as a significant forward movement towards the restoration of peace and tranquillity in the region.

On Saturday, Chief of Army Staff Gen MM Naravane said if the Chinese military continues with its large-scale deployment in the eastern Ladakh region, then the Indian Army too will maintain its strength on its side which he said is “as good as what the PLA has done.”

The border standoff between the Indian and Chinese militaries erupted on May 5, 2020, following a clash in the Pangong lake areas and both sides gradually enhanced their deployment by rushing in tens of thousands of soldiers as well as heavy weaponry.

As a result of a series of military and diplomatic talks, the two sides completed the disengagement process in the Gogra area in August and in the north and south banks of the Pangong lake in February.

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