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LAC standoff | Status quo on India-China border in eastern Ladakh after Jaishankar-Wang meet

An Indian Army convoy moves towards Leh via the Manali-Leh road, near Manali on September 13, 2020.

An Indian Army convoy moves towards Leh via the Manali-Leh road, near Manali on September 13, 2020.   | Photo Credit: PTI

There is a freeze on all movement and activities along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in eastern Ladakh after the Foreign Ministers of India and China met in Moscow on September 10 and agreed on a five-point solution to ease the border tension.

A senior government official told The Hindu that status quo is being maintained by the Indian and Chinese troops on the north and south banks of Pangong Tso (lake), which saw renewed mobilisation of troops, vehicles and weapons in the past few days.

LAC standoff | Officials confirm two incidents of firing at south bank of Pangong Tso

The south bank witnessed firing on August 30 and September 7, the first time since 1975 that shots were fired along the LAC. Here, Indian forces are dominating and are occupying the heights and ridges; at many spots the two sides are just about 200 metres apart.

There has been no additional deployment in the Finger area on the north bank after a massive build-up by China on September 8. “After the Foreign Ministers met, there has been a visible reduction in activity on north and south banks of Pangong. In the present context when we say status quo is maintained, the point of reference is positions maintained in the past one week and no subsequent addition in the past 3-4 days. We have been demanding that China restore status quo ante before April,” the official said.

The official said the future course of action will depend on the decision conveyed by Delhi as Foreign Minister S. Jaishankar returned from Moscow.

More meetings

The ground commanders have been meeting daily in all the disputed sectors to discuss confidence building measures.

Also read | Chinese troops carried rods, spears and clubs in aggressive approach towards Indian post, say govt. sources

The dates and agenda for the resumption of the Corps Commander-level talks, the highest level of military level dialogue between India and China, is yet to be decided. The Corps Commanders have met five times so far. India might insist on a change in the Chinese delegation for the talks.

India and China are engaged in a standoff since April-May when China amassed huge troops in Depsang, Gogra-Hotsprings, Galwan and Pangong Tso. On June 15, 20 Indian soldiers were killed in violent clashes in Galwan.

Also read | There has been no firing on the border since 1975

The official added that as far as other areas such as Depsang, Hot Springs or Galwan is concerned, no major activity or mobilisation has been seen since July.

India has accused China of not adhering to the disengagement and de-escalation plan as agreed during the military and diplomatic-level talks. In many sectors, Chinese forces are within India’s perception of the LAC.

Earlier a document uploaded on Ministry of Defence’s website on August 5 that was later deleted, said, “Chinese aggression has been increasing along the LAC and more particularly in Galwan valley since May 5. The Chinese side transgressed in the areas of Kurang Nala, Gogra and north bank of Pangong Tso on May 17-18.”

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Printable version | Sep 20, 2020 6:08:39 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/lac-standoff-status-quo-on-india-china-border-in-eastern-ladakh-after-jaishankar-wang-meet/article32594270.ece

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