By Sumit Kumar Singh
New Delhi, Sep 9 (IANS) Indian and Chinese military representatives met on Wednesday to amicably de-escalate tension on the Line of Actual Control in eastern Ladakh but the talks were “inconclusive”. The militaries of both countries will again meet for further deliberations.
The talks happened after Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) troops had made a provocative military effort to dislodge Indian soldiers from their positions on the LAC on September 7 and also fired warning shots.
“Talks took place between Brigade commanders of both the countries today,” said a source, adding that they remained inconclusive.
Sources further said that India has clearly stated during the meeting that if Chinese troops would carry out provocative military movements, Indian soldiers will retaliate.
Earlier in the day, it was found that China had started a fresh build up at Finger area north of Pangong Lake.
The deployment of PLA troops has increased since Tuesday evening. They are also bringing in more materiel and logistic items.
The troops from both sides are in a short range from each other. “They are within clear visible range and Indian troops are keeping a close watch on their activities,” said a government source.
Also on Tuesday, around 40 to 50 Chinese troops armed with spears, guns and sharp-edged weapons had reached a few metres from the Indian Army positions at heights north of Rezang La in eastern Ladakh.
PLA troops were trying to make a fresh attempt to dislodge the Indian Army from its positions.
It started soon after a skirmish on the southern bank of the lake took place on September 7 where the Indian Army dominates positions.
The Indian Army has occupied crucial heights in areas around the south bank of Pangong Lake and the Chinese have made several attempts to take over Indian positions here.
It has become the new friction point as the Indian Army seems be in an advantageous position.
The Indian Army has occupied heights that allow it to dominate the Chinese Moldo garrison and the Spangur Gap under Chinese control. Both India and China lay claim to some of these heights.
One of the most critical heights the Indian Army is manning is the Rechin La, which the Chinese are protesting against.
From here the Indian Army enjoys a vantage point not just for Chinese military bases on the south bank of the the Pangong Lake but can also be in range of the Finger 4 area on the north of the lake on the opposite side.
India and China are currently engaged in a four-month-long standoff on the LAC in eastern Ladakh. Despite several rounds of dialogue, there has not been any breakthrough and the deadlock continues.
(Sumit Kumar Singh can be reached at email@example.com)