Air Forces of India, China continue to guard Ladakh: Report
Air Forces of India & China remain deployed in Ladakh amid disengagement talks between both sides
The air forces of India and China continue to hold the fort at the friction points along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in eastern Ladakh even as New Delhi and Beijing are discussing the disengagement process. As per a report by the Hindustan Times, there has been no change in the deployment or posture of the Indian Air Force in the Ladakh region. An official source close to the development has also told the English daily that there is no change in the deployment of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF) at the LAC as well.
In the wake of the border standoff with China in May 2020, the Indian Air Force intensified the deployment of frontline jets, transport fleet and attack helicopters at its key bases along the LAC. In response, China also activated its airbases along the border by deploying J-8 fighters and bomber planes along with other weapons.
After months of tensions at the border, India and China announced a disengagement agreement last month in order to pull back their soldiers from the friction points. Reportedly, New Delhi and Beijing have held at least 10 rounds of military talks to further the disengagement agreement and resolve the border standoff between the two countries.
The last round of talks between corps commander-ranked officers of India and China took place on February 20 after the first phase of disengagement at the LAC was completed from both sides. In the first phase that began on February 10, India and China withdrew their frontline troops, combat vehicles, tanks and artillery guns from the banks of Pangong Tso lake. The next two steps in the process involve de-escalation and de-induction, aimed at withdrawing troops and war machinery to the pre-April 2020 home bases.
Meanwhile, the Working Mechanism for Consultation and Coordination (WMCC) on India-China border affairs met on March 12 to discuss the next round of military commander talks. However, the date for the 11th round of military talks has yet not been decided by both sides. As per reports, issues related to the disengagement process at Demchok and Gogra-Hot Springs area are likely to be discussed in the upcoming meeting between the officials of India and China.
In a statement issued on the development, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) had said that India and China have agreed on maintaining close dialogue through both diplomatic and military channels in order to reach a mutually acceptable solution for complete disengagement from the LAC at the earliest.