19TH ROUND OF CORP COMMANDER TALKS
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- The Indian Army and the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) held the 19th round of military talks in eastern Ladakh.
- The meeting was held at the Chushul-Moldo border point on the Indian side of the Line of Actual Control (LAC).
- Preventing clashes between their respective troops and fostering greater mutual confidence.
- The Indian delegation’s primary objective in these talks is to expedite the disengagement process in the remaining friction points.
Aim of the talk
- To ease tensions along the contested Line of Actual Control (LAC), where the two sides have been locked in a standoff for more than three years.
- The discussions revolved around strict adherence to border protocols and the sharing of patrol information to maintain stability along the Line of Actual Control (LAC).
- The two sides had a positive, constructive, and in-depth discussion on the resolution of the remaining issues along the LAC (Line of Actual Control) in the Western Sector.
- India asked the Chinese for regaining access to all the historical patrolling points along the LAC.
- The Indian side also urged for an early disengagement at the remaining friction points, including legacy ones like the Depsang Plains and Demchok.
- The agenda also encompassed a broader de-escalation of military presence in the Ladakh region.
- The two nations deliberated on implementing continued confidence-building measures to bridge the trust deficit between them.
- Until a consensus is reached regarding complete access to the historic patrolling points along the LAC, both sides agreed to uphold the sanctity of buffer zones.
- Additional points discussed included sustaining regular interactions at the battalion level and preventing any violations by drones.
- In line with the guidance provided by the leadership, they exchanged views in an open and forward-looking manner.
- They agreed to resolve the remaining issues in an expeditious manner and maintain the momentum of dialogue and negotiations through military and diplomatic channels.
- The two sides agreed to maintain peace and tranquillity on the ground in the border areas.
- The Indian stance has been consistent, i.e. restoration of status quo ante as on April 2020 and the focus would be on disengagement from Depsang and Demchok. The above entails restoration of patrolling rights till the traditional patrolling points.
Significance of the Meeting
- Despite four rounds of disengagement from the Galwan Valley, Pangong Tso, Gogra (PP-17A), and Hot Springs (PP-15), the Indian and Chinese armies still have tens of thousands of troops and advanced weaponry deployed in the Ladakh theatre.
- The border talks follow the 18th round of talks which took place in April this year. Disengagements have taken place near Gogra, Galwan Hot Springs, and Pangong Tso. However, pproblems at Depsang in the Daulet Beg Oldi sector and Charding Nullah Junction (CNJ) in the Demchok sector is still on the negotiating table.
- India and China have been locked in a military standoff in eastern Ladakh since April-May 2020. Bilateral ties plummeted to a six-decade low after brutal clashes in the Galwan Valley in June 2020 killed 20 Indian soldiers.
- Bilateral relations have been frozen since the outbreak of border tensions in 2020.
- New Delhi has consistently said India-China relations cannot be normalized without restoring peace and tranquillity on the border and here comes the role of the 19th Corp Commander Talks.
- The meeting also holds significant importance, especially considering the forthcoming BRICS summit, where Prime Minister Narendra Modi is scheduled to meet with Chinese President Xi Jinping.
READ -INDIA CHINA BORDER DISPUTE DECODED: https://www.iasgyan.in/blogs/india-china-border-dispute-decoded
Q. The relations between India and China have come under “severe stress” time and again in the last decade due to multiple border stand-offs along the Line of Actual Control. What is the root cause of the border dispute between India & China? Discuss the disputed areas along the LAC with special emphasis on China’s Salami Slicing technique. Throw light on India’s changing border strategy in this context.