India, China talks to de-escalate border tensions end in deadlock
New Delhi, November 7, 2020
The military talks between India and China at Chushul in Eastern Ladakh to resolve the border dispute and de-escalation of forces ended in stalemate. The soldiers of both the countries continue to remain exposed to temperatures of minus 20 degrees Celsius.
"There was no headway during the talks as China was not ready to withdraw from the disputed position. We had made it clear there is no going back an inch," said a government source.
The eighth Corps Commander-level talks between both the countries began at 9:30 am and ended at 7 pm on Friday. It was for the first time that Lieutenant General P. G. K. Menon led the Indian military delegates.
Earlier, he had attended two such rounds of talks but the delegation was led by then Lieutenant General Harinder Singh who was transferred last month to the Indian Military Academy (IMA) where he would be in charge of training the future generations of Army officers.
Joint Secretary from the Ministry of External Affairs Navin Srivastava was also part of the delegation.
"We have firmly stated to China that disengagement will happen at all friction points and not at the selected locations as they want. Our stand is clear," the source said.
While talks were on, Chief of Defence Staff General Bipin Rawat on Friday claimed that situation at Line of Actual Control remains to be tense and war with China cannot be ruled out.
He said: "In the overall security calculus, border confrontations, transgressions, unprovoked tactical military actions spiralling into a larger conflict therefore cannot be discounted."
General Rawat said the situation along the Line of Actual Control in eastern Ladakh remains tense. But he pointed that India's posturing is unambiguous and "will not accept any shift in Line of Actual Control."
He also said that China's People's Liberation Army is facing unanticipated consequences for its misadventure in Ladakh because of firm responses by Indian forces.
Top military commanders of both the countries met seven times in a bid to resolve the six month standoff. The last meeting happened on October 12 and that too had ended in a deadlock.
So far both the countries have agreed to maintain dialogue and communication through military and diplomatic channels, and arrive at a mutually acceptable solution for disengagement as early as possible.
On August 30, India had occupied critical mountain heights on the southern bank of the Pangong Lake such as Rechin La, Rezang La, Mukpari, and Tabletop that were unmanned till now. India has also made some deployments near Blacktop. The movement was carried out after the Chinese tried to make a provocative military move.
Now, dominance at these 13 peaks allows India to dominate the Spangur Gap under Chinese control and also the Moldo garrison on the Chinese side.
India and China have been engaged in a seven-month-long standoff at the LAC. Despite several levels of dialogue, there has not been any breakthrough and the deadlock continues.