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14th round of China-India military talks over Ladakh Standoff failed

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Even as China objected to remarks made by the Indian Army chief, both sides issued a joint statement after the 14th round of military talks over the stand-off at eastern Ladakh that spoke about maintaining stability at the border but indicated no breakthrough, The Wire reported Thursday.

A day after Indian and Chinese military officers held a 13-hour-long meeting, a joint press release issued by the two sides stated that there had been a "frank and in-depth exchange of views for the resolution of the relevant views along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in the Western Sector".

Tellingly, after the previous 13th round of corp commander-level meeting in October 2021, the two sides had issued separate press releases, accusing each other of being intransigent and obstructing a resolution to the stand-off.

Since early May 2020, Indian and Chinese troops have been eyeball-to-eyeball at multiple locations along the LAC in eastern Ladakh. At least 20 Indian soldiers and four Chinese PLA personnel died in a violent encounter in June 2020 at Galwan valley.

While India wants disengagement and de-escalation at all the friction points, China has not given any more signal that it would be ready to withdraw from the remaining points. According to media reports, India had raised the three friction points, but there was no concession from the Chinese side, The Wire said.

Instead, the joint press release repeated earlier phrases about following the "guidance" provided by leaders to "work for the resolution of the remaining issues at the earliest". "It was noted that this would help in restoration of peace and tranquility along the LAC in the Western Sector and enable progress in bilateral relations," it added.

Indian Army Chief Gen. Naravane

On Wednesday when the Chinese-Indian military talks were underway, the Chinese foreign ministry criticized Indian Army chief M.M. Naravane's assessment that the Indian military remained at a high level of alert as Chinese aggression at the border has still not eased.

"At present, China and India are in dialogue and communication through diplomatic and military channels to ease the situation at the border. We hope that certain individual on the Indian side would refrain from making unconstructive remarks," said Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin.

At a press briefing on January 12, Wednesday, Naravane had said that while there had been "partial engagement, the threat by no means has been reduced". "We are more than adequately prepared to deal with it should there be any military ramifications," Naravane was quoted as saying by Press Trust of India.

India should not become a pawn of the US: GT

Prior to the China-India border meeting, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said on Monday that the US is closely monitoring the China-India border issue, and the US is concerned with China's "attempt to intimidate its neighbors," The Global Times reported Indian media as saying on Tuesday.

The US is the last one to wish for a peaceful resolution to the China-India border issue, because the US thinks it can benefit the most from it, Chinese experts said, noting that the US wants to use India to pin China down from the southwest and hype the "China threat theory."

India should realize this and not become a pawn of the US, Global Times quoted Chinese experts as saying.

The Global Times said Indian Defense Minister Rajnath Singh said on Monday that he tested positive for COVID-19, and this exposed the huge impact the coronavirus has on the Indian people and troops, and India should focus more on fighting the pandemic, instead of confronting China.

China's new construction at Bhutan border

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Author and journalist. Author of Islamic Pakistan: Illusions & Reality; Islam in the Post-Cold War Era; Islam & Modernism; Islam & Muslims in the Post-9/11 America. Currently working as free lance journalist. Executive Editor of American (more...)
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