Armies of India, China discuss disengagement in Depsang plains
New Delhi, August 8, 2020
Talks between military representatives of India and China to discuss disengagement in the Depsang plains north of Galwan area started on Saturday morning near the Line of Actual Control, sources said.
The sources said that the Major General-level talks between Indian and Chinese armies is taking place at Daulat Beg Oldie for the de-escalation of troops and material in the Depsang plains.
General Officer Commanding of 3 Mountain Division, Major General Abhijit Bapat, is leading the talks from the Indian side.
The main agenda of the meeting is to address the situation in the Depsang plains that has seen big mobilisation of around 15,000 Chinese troops opposite Depsang.
The Depsang plains is a table-top plateau to the north of Galwan and remains a major hotspot due to its strategic location since it provides access to the logistical hub and airstrip at Daulat Beg Oldie and the critical Karakoram Pass in the north.
The meeting will seek to work out a system of pulling back troops and de-escalation from the 900 sq km plains situated at an altitude of 16,000 feet.
The Indian Army holds a majority of the Depsang plains area while the People's Liberation Army holds its eastern edge. Chinese troops are concentrating on an area called 'Bottleneck', 25 km from the strategic airfield at Daulat Beg Oldie.
The troops on either side are denying patrolling rights to each other in the "grey zone" areas, where the perception of the Line of Actual Control varies by several kilometres.
Saturday's meeting is the outcome of the Lieutenant General-level meetings, five of which have been conducted since June 6.
Depsang plains has seen two major stand-offs in 2013 and 2014, besides dozens of face-offs annually when the troops of the two countries come close while patrolling.
In the meantime, the Indian government has witnessed that China's commitment to disengagement at the Pangong Tso lake remains "unsatisfactory". India has directed its armed forces to prepare for a long haul.