LAC Standoff: India & China hold 12th round of talks today
Corps commander-ranked officers of the Indian Army and China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA) are holding 12th round of talks in Moldo, which lies on the Chinese side of the Line of Actual Control (LAC). The agenda of talks between commanders of the two nations is to ease tensions that have been brewing with peaks since they locked in a border row for 14 months almost.
The previous 11th round of talks was held on April 9 where Indian Army officers had told PLA counterparts that disengaging at all friction points along LAC was critical to de-escalate the situation. “We are expecting forward movement in hammering out a disengagement agreement at Hot Springs and Gogra,” an officer said.
Since June last year, there have been 11 rounds of talks between the two militaries to resolve border conflict in eastern Ladakh. But the success has been just a minimum to keep the standoff intact as the soldiers deployed along the friction areas engaged with other side soldiers despite the agreed standoff.
But these talks have brought one positive result – disengagement of front line troops and weaponry in the Pangong Tso sector after nine round of talks in mid of February.
What can be expected of 12th round of talks?
The 12th round of talks will focus on resolving conflict in areas of Gogra, Hot Springs and Depsang. At present there are 50,000 to 60,000 troops from both sides in the Ladakh region. It is seen that post disengagement in the Pangong Tso sector, there have been no reduction in troops deployment.
On May 28, Indian soldiers went on high alert as PLA continued placing its troops and elements like tanks across LAC in its “immediate depth” from places where they could be deployed forward at a short notice, said army chief general Manoj Mukund Naravane. Immediate depth in Ladakh sector reference means a distance of 150 km to 200 km from LAC.
PLA troops have been forward deployed in the Hot Springs and Gogra areas that has led to patrolling by Indian Army impacted. Disengagement in these areas had however taken place last year. Depsang area deployment by PLA troops has also impacted access routes of Indian soldiers. The access routes includes ones leading to Patrolling Points 10, 11, 11-A, 12 and 13.