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Status quo on LAC after Jaishankar-Wang meet

Tense situation:India and China are engaged in a stand-off since April-May. Here, Army vehicles are moving in Leh.ANI

Tense situation:India and China are engaged in a stand-off since April-May. Here, Army vehicles are moving in Leh.ANI  

There is a freeze on all movement and activities along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in eastern Ladakh after External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar met his Chinese counterpart, Wang Yi, 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.

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 would depend on the decision conveyed by New Delhi.

More meetings

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

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. India might insist on a change in the Chinese delegation for the talks.

India and China have been engaged in a stand-off since April-May when China massed huge troops in Depsang, Gogra-Hotsprings, Galwan and Pangong Tso. On June 15, 20 Indian soldiers were killed in clashes in Galwan.

The official said that in areas such as Depsang, Hot Springs or Galwan, 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.

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