The eighth round of India-China military and diplomatic level talks is expected to take place next week to discuss disengagement in Ladakh even as armies of the two countries prepare for snow and winter deployment along the 1,597km Line of Actual Control (LAC).
Here are five components of the story:
- As per the senior officials, both sides are not impatient over a resolution on the friction points but have decided to keep the dialogue channels open at both military commander and diplomatic levels.
- The talks are also aimed at preventing any vertical escalation on the friction points either due to an accident or aggressiveness of an individual commander.
- While the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) has proposed that both sides withdraw armoured and artillery units as part of de-escalation first and then go for dis-engagement of infantry, the Indian side is very clear that armoured units cannot be withdrawn as it will give advantage to the adversary due to terrain and capability.
- “If India were to withdraw its armoured units from south of Pangong Tso to beyond Chang La or beyond Marsimik La, then they will never reach back to the contested points in a worst-case scenario as both the passes are blocked by heavy snow till April every year. The PLA, on the other hand, have an advantage as they have a six-lane Kashgar-Lhasa highway just 10 km from both Marsimik La and Kongka La with roads running right up to their posts,” said a senior official.
- The Indian Army and the PLA are deployed on the contested points with distance being maintained so that any chance of an accident is ruled out. Indian medical facilities have also come up along the LAC so that victims of high-altitude sickness get immediate treatment.