LAC standoff: Mood grim but India, China to hold third round of Lt General talks on Tuesday

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LAC standoff: Mood grim but India, China to hold third round of Lt General talks on Tuesday


NEW DELHI: Top Army officers from India and China will meet for the third time on Tuesday in a bid to de-escalate border tensions and reduce military build-ups, amidst the continuing stalemate triggered by Chinese troop intrusions into Indian territory in

Pangong Tso

, Galwan Valley, Hot Springs and Depsang Plains in eastern Ladakh.

Sources said 14 Corps commander Lt-General Harinder Singh and South Xinjiang Military District chief Major General Liu Lin will kick off their meeting at the Chushul-Moldo border personnel meeting (BPM) point around 10.30 am on Tuesday.

The meeting will take place for the first time at

Chushul

, unlike the first two marathon meetings held at Moldo on June 6 and 22, ever since the major troop confrontations between the two nuclear powers began in early-May.

But the mood is grim because the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) has so far failed to adhere to the de-escalation and disengagement plan finalized in the earlier meetings. “India’s aim at the meeting on Tuesday will be to discuss ways to reduce tensions with additional confidence-building measures and finalize disengagement timelines. Indian Army, however, is well prepared for the long haul if PLA continues to remain intransigent,” said a source.

Chinese troops are continuing to block all Indian patrols after fortifying their positions at the “Finger-4 to 8” stretch (mountainous spurs separated over a distance of 8-km) on the north bank of Pangong Tso, “Patrolling Point-14 (PP-14)” in Galwan Valley and the “Bottleneck” area in Depsang, said sources.

Chinese troops at the confrontation sites continue to be backed by a large number of troops as well as tanks and artillery guns from the PLA’s 4th Motorized Infantry Division and 6th Mechanized Infantry Division as well as Western Theatre Command “reserves” deployed along the LAC, especially in the strategically-located Daulat Beg Oldie (DBO)-Depsang sector.

India, of course, has more than matched the build-up by inducting three additional divisions (each has 10,000-12,000 troops), howitzers and armoured vehicles into Ladakh, along with deploying

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