For the first time, India and China held Border Personnel Meeting (BPM) at the disputed Daulat Beg Oldie on the occasion of the People's Liberation Army (PLA) Day along the Line of Actual Control (LAC). The two countries had a major face-off at this point in the eastern Ladakh sector in April 2013 after Chinese troops had intruded into the DBO and set up tents.
"The BPM at DBO is a milestone in the India-China relation at the level border troops. PLA hosted an Indian Army delegation for the first time in the area of Daulat Beg Oldie. The Indian delegation was led by Colonel BS Uppal while Colonel Song Zhoanli led the Chinese delegation," said defence spokesperson Colonel SD Goswami.
The BPM was also held in the Chushul sector in the Chinese territory in Moldo Garrison in eastern Ladakh. Brigadier JKS Virk led the Indian delegation while senior Colonel Chen Zheng Shan represented the Chinese side.
In Chushul sector as well, both countries have had a face off in the past. In the Demchock area, the Chinese army had in the past stopped construction work and was insisting on dismantaling the observatory post of the Indian Army last year, which was resisted by India. However, the two countries have been holding BPM at this point.
The meeting is considered significant at the DBO, which is claimed by both India and China and marked by perceptional difference over the border. An army airfield at DBO was made operational in 2008 after a gap of about four decades.
"The BPM was held at a point where there was convergence of perception on border. It suggests that both countries have agreed to the each other's claims and decided to end the conflict," said a senior army official wishing not to be named.
In April 2013, India had alleged that about 40 troops of the PLA had intruded 20km into the DBO sector and set up tents. India had responded in an equal manner with ITBP putting up tents about 300 metres away from the PLA.
The defence spokesperson said both sides interacted in a cordial internment and it reflected the mutual desire to improve relations on the functional level at the border.