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OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 11/7/20

8th round of China-India military talks also failed to end Ladakh deadlock

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Chinese and Indian military officials held 8th round of high level military talks Friday to end months-long deadlock in Ladakh.

There was no official word yet on the outcome, but India has maintained that China must disengage completely from all flashpoints in eastern Ladakh.

The Press Trust of India (PTI) quoted informed sources as saying the Indian Army on Friday strongly insisted on early disengagement of troops by China from all the friction points in eastern Ladakh at the eighth round of Corps Commander-level talks between the two sides that primarily focused on a roadmap for restoration of peace and tranquility in the region.

"The Indian side insisted on early restoration of status quo ante of April and comprehensive disengagement of troops by China from all the friction points to resolve the row."

At the seventh round of talks on October 12, both sides had agreed to maintain dialogue and communication through military and diplomatic channels to arrive at a mutually acceptable solution for disengagement "as early as possible".

India has all along been maintaining that the onus is on China to carry forward the process of disengagement and de-escalation at the friction points in the mountainous region.

Indian Chief of Defense Staff General Bipin Rawat said Friday the situation was tense at the Line of Actual Control, the de facto border, in eastern Ladakh. 'We will not accept any shifting of the Line of Actual Control,' Rawat said in an online address.'

'In the overall security calculus, border confrontations, transgressions and unprovoked tactical military actions spiraling into a larger conflict cannot therefore be discounted,' he said.

According to Deccan Chronicle, India had earlier rejected a Chinese proposal to move back tanks and artillery from the forward positions. India's position is that it was China which had first moved its troops at the Line of Control (LAC), and China will have to be first to withdraw from these positions.

India has told China it will talk about all the flashpoints and not just about the south bank of Pangong Tso, where the Indian Army occupied the strategic heights in August, in a surprise move.

Both countries are gearing up to keep their troops at forward positions in Ladakh in the harsh winter ahead, when temperatures dip to minus 30 degrees Celsius.

Nearly 50,000 Indian Army troops are currently deployed in a high state of combat readiness in various mountainous locations in eastern Ladakh in sub-zero conditions.

The Indian Army has received the initial consignment of extreme cold weather clothing from the United States for its troops.

Defense minister Rajnath Singh said on Thursday that "no matter what the sacrifice" India was "determined to protect its sovereignty and territorial integrity in the face of unilateralism and aggression".

"India is a peace-loving country. We believe that differences should not become disputes. We attach importance to the peaceful resolution of differences through dialogue. However, India is determined to protect its sovereignty and territorial integrity in the face of unilateralism and aggression, no matter what the sacrifice," Singh said.

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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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