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India-China Military Talks

The fresh round of military talks between India and China has failed to achieve any breakthrough as the Chinese army is said to have hardened its stand and continued to resist Delhi’s demand for disengagement from Depsang Plains, operationally critical for the Indian Army where the Chinese are entrenched 18km inside India-claimed lines along the Line of Actual Control in eastern Ladakh.

India and China held the 18th round of military talks on Sunday that continued till late at night to resolve the ongoing border standoff in Ladakh.

“The two sides had a frank and in-depth discussion on the resolution of the relevant issues along the LAC in the Western Sector so as to restore peace and tranquillity in the border areas, which will enable progress in bilateral relations. In line with the guidance provided by the State leaders and further to the meeting between the two foreign ministers in March 2023, they had an exchange of views in an open and candid manner,” a statement from India’s foreign ministry said.

The two sides agreed to maintain security and stability on the ground in the Western Sector. They agreed to stay in close contact and maintain dialogue through military and diplomatic channels and work out a mutually acceptable resolution of the remaining issues at the earliest, the statement said.

The statement, however, was silent on the restoration of the status quo as it was in April 2020 before the Chinese intrusion.

So far, there has been “partial” Chinese disengagement from the Galwan Valley, Pangong Lake, Hot Springs and Gogra but at the price of Indian troops retreating inside Indian territory by an equal distance to create demilitarised “buffer zones”.

The Chinese are remaining within India-claimed lines at these places while the Centre faces accusations of capitulating and handing the Chinese more territory on a platter.