The Ministry of Defence (MoD) took down a document uploaded on its website that admitted Chinese transgressions into Indian territory in Eastern Ladakh beginning early May.
The report said the present situation arising from “unilateral aggression” by China continues to be sensitive, requiring close monitoring and prompt action based on the evolving situation, and the present stand-off “is likely to be prolonged.”
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“Chinese aggression has been increasing along the Line of Actual Control (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,” the MoD said in the report on June activities. The Ministry spokesperson was not available for comment.
Ground-level interactions between the armed forces of both sides were held to defuse the situation, the report said, referring to the Corps Commanders flag meeting on June 6. “However, a violent face-off incident took place between the two sides on June 15, resulting in casualties of both sides.” Subsequently, the second Corps Commander-level meeting took place on June 22 to discuss modalities of the de-escalation process.
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“While engagement and dialogue at military and diplomatic level is continuing to arrive at mutually acceptable consensus, the present stand-off is likely to be prolonged,” the report stated.
Five rounds of talks
The two sides have so far held five rounds of Corps Commanders’ talks but there hasn’t been any significant movement beyond the limited first phase of disengagement.
There has been no breakthrough in the last two rounds of talks on July 14 and August 2 to take forward the stalled process of disengagement.
“There has been no progress in the talks on Sunday. However, India remains firm on restoration of status quo ante of pre-May positions,” a defence source said.
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In early June, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh acknowledging for the first time that China has moved troops in “significant numbers” and in a visit to forward areas in Eastern Ladakh in July, he said he cannot guarantee to what extent the issue with China would be resolved.
The China Study Group (CSG), headed by National Security Advisor Ajit Doval, met on Tuesday to discuss the outcome of Sunday’s talks and the future strategy.
Pangong Tso and Depsang remain major areas of concern with Chinese troops continuing to occupy the ridgelines of Finger 4, about 8 km inside from Finger 8, upto which India’s claim extends to.