Military commanders of India, China meet

New Delhi (NVI): Military commanders of India and China today met for the 7th round of talks to discuss how to end the faceoff in the Ladakh sector of Line of Actual Control, which has been triggered by Chinese aggression detected in May.

The Corps Commanders of the two sides met at the Line of Actual Control (LAC), officials said.

The outcome, if any, is awaited.

The earlier six rounds of military-level talks and agreements reached during those talks have failed to translate into disengagement at the border, where the situation continues to be tense and dangerously poised.

After the 6th round of talks held on September 21 at the Line of Actual Control, the two sides had reached an agreement which was reflected in a Joint Statement. The main features of the agreement were that the two sides will stop sending more troops to the frontline, refrain from unilaterally changing situation on the ground and avoid taking any actions that may complicate the situation.

The two sides had also agreed to take practical measures to properly solve problems on the ground, and jointly safeguard peace and tranquility in the border area.

They underscored the need for earnestly implementing the important consensus reached by leaders of two countries, strengthen communication on ground, avoid misunderstandings & misjudgements. The two sides also agreed to hold the next round of talks as soon as possible.

However, what was conspicuous by its absence explicitly in the Joint Statement was the restoration of status quo ante, which means restoration of the situation on the LAC as it existed in April. There was also no mention about pullback of troops from all the friction points.

India has been insisting on it since the beginning but China is not implementing it. China has reportedly amassed over 50,000 troops and deployed fighter planes and missile systems at the LAC. India has also undertaken the deployment in equal measure.

This has led to a dangerous eyeball-to-eyeball situation at the LAC, for the first time since the 1962 War.

Significantly, ahead of today’s meeting, US Secretary of State Michael Pompeo stressed that talks will not help in resolving the situation created by the Chinese aggression. He was of the view that China will have to be taken on through other means.