Indo-China Standoff: Lt General Level Talks Likely on 6 June

Northern Army Commander Lt General YK Joshi reached Ladakh on Tuesday to review the situation.

Updated03 Jun 2020, 06:14 AM IST
India
4 min read

India and China are expected to hold Lieutenant General level talks on 6 June to address ongoing dispute in eastern Ladakh along Line of Actual Control, ANI cited Indian Army Sources.

According to the source, 14 Corps Commander Lt Gen Harinder Singh is scheduled to hold talks with his Chinese counterpart.

Earlier, in a telephonic phone call on Tuesday, 2 June, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and United States President Donald Trump discussed the Indo-China border tensions among other issues. Following that, on Wednesday, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi challenged the government to confirm that no Chinese soldiers have entered India.

In a tweet, he said, ‘Can GOI please confirm that no Chinese soldiers have entered India?’

Tensions between India and China have escalated at the Line of Actual Control (LAC) over the past few weeks, and the standoff is likely to drag on for a bit longer.

The Indian Army, on 31 May, said both Indian and Chinese military commanders have been in talks over boundary differences in eastern Ladakh. China has deployed close to 5,000 soldiers, tanks and artillery guns on its side of LAC, in the Ladakh sector. India, too, has also sent in military reinforcements.In light of the current situation, here are seven key developments that you should know of:

1. India & China Military Leaders to Meet on 6 June

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh said on Tuesday, “Indian and Chinese military leaders will meet on 6 June to resolve the Ladakh issue.”

TV news channel News18 reported that Singh added that a “sizeable number” of Chinese troops have moved into eastern Ladakh and India, too, has taken all necessary steps to deal with the situation.

However, on 3 June, the channel issued a correction stating that the minister did not refer to eastern Ladakh when he said that a “sizeable number” of Chinese troops have moved.

Acknowledging the recent standoff, Singh said that in the past, too, India and China have had escalated tensions, militarily and diplomatically. “During the Doklam standoff, we had resolved diplomatically, and even today, we are communicating with them through the military,” he said.

Over the last weekend, Singh had said face-offs have happened before, but this time it's different. He had said the Chinese troops have “come in a little farther that usual this time” but beyond that India hasn't said much.

2. Over 11,000 Workers to Be Moved For Projects Near Border

Despite the tensions, India's defence ministry has asked railways to provide it with 11 trains to send around 11,815 labourers to border areas in Ladakh, Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand for road building activities by the BRO.

The Union home ministry asked the railway ministry on May 22 to arrange the special trains from Jharkhand to Jammu and Chandigarh.

The request comes amid Jharkhand air-lifting 57 stranded labourers working for road projects in Leh and Kargil last week, reports IANS.

3. Northern Commander in Ladakh to Hold Meeting

Northern Army Commander Lieutenant General YK Joshi on Tuesday reached Ladakh to review the situation amid growing tensions at LAC.

He is scheduled to hold a series of meetings with the commanders there, including 14 Corps Commander Lt Gen Harinder Singh, who was the Director General Military Intelligence before taking over the crucial Ladakh command in October last year.

This is the third Higher Commander Level Meeting, which is held between the Major General rank officers of the two sides.

Sources told The Print that most of the troops moved over the past few weeks have finished their acclimatisation and have been deployed to counter the Chinese build-up along the Galwan Valley, larger Hot Spring Area and the Finger Area of the Pangong Lake.

4. Chinese Fighters 30 Km from Eastern Ladakh, India Watches Closely

India has continued to keep a close watch on the movement of Chinese fighter aircraft flying around 30 km from Eastern Ladakh.

Around 10-12 Chinese fighter aircrafts have also been stationed at the PLA Air Force bases in Hotan and Gargunsa – close to the Eastern Ladakh area, according to India Today sources.

China has reportedly kept 10-12 each of their J-7 and J-11 fighter aircraft, which are flying over up to 30 km of Indian territory.

5. US Lawmaker Calls China a ‘Bully’

The United States has again voiced its concern over the “Chinese aggression” against India in Ladakh.

Eliot Engel, Chief of the US House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee, on Monday, called China a “bully” and asked it to “respect norms and use diplomacy and existing mechanisms to resolve its border questions.”

“I am extremely concerned by the ongoing Chinese aggression along the Line of Actual Control on the India-China border. China is demonstrating once again that it is willing to bully its neighbours rather than resolve conflicts according to international law,” top American lawmaker said.

6. Overall Situation ‘Stable, Controllable’: China

Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Zhao lijian on Monday, said that the overall situation along the China-India border is “stable and controllable.”

Commenting on the standoff between the Indian Army and PLA for in Pangong Tso, Galwan Valley, Demchok, and Daulat Beg Oldie in eastern Ladakh, Lijian said, “diplomatic and military communication channels between China and India on the border issue are open,” adding that the issue will be resolved soon.

“We believe that the two sides can properly resolve the issue through dialogue and consultations,” he said.

7. ‘Chinese PLA Pulls Back in Few Intrusion Points'

Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) seems to be pulling back their heavy armour and wrapping up tents in at least two of the five (or six) intrusion points, according to a report in The Eastern Link.

PLA, in other intrusion points as well, has reportedly become less active over the past 10 days. However, both the sides are still alert and are sticking to their respective positions.

Meanwhile, on the other hand, China’s Global Times has been outrightly critical of the Indian government for the current escalation, stating, “Unlike previous standoffs, the latest border friction was not caused by accident, but was a planned move of New Delhi.”

The daily stated that if India fails to prevent the recent “provocations” then it will severely impact Indo-China ties, and might even aggravate the Doklam issue.

“Currently, India's top priority should be handling the epidemic and restoring economy rather than instigating border disputes,” the report added.

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Published: 02 Jun 2020, 01:42 PM IST
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