India-China face-off: June 6 meet key to defusing tensions
The General Officer Commanding of the Leh-based HQs 14 Corps, Lieutenant General Harinder Singh, is expected to meet his Chinese counterpart on Saturday, exactly a month after tensions between India and China started building up along the disputed border.Updated: Jun 04, 2020 00:35 IST
The June 6 meeting between Indian and Chinese military officials, led by lieutenant generals from both armies, will be a significant step towards resolving the border row along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in eastern Ladakh, top China expert and National Security Advisory Board member Lieutenant General SL Narasimhan (retd) said on Wednesday.
The General Officer Commanding of the Leh-based HQs 14 Corps, Lieutenant General Harinder Singh, is expected to meet his Chinese counterpart on Saturday, exactly a month after tensions between India and China started building up along the disputed border.
This is perhaps the first time that lieutenant generals are meeting in a sensitive sector to defuse border tensions --- the highest level of talks between India and China at the tactical level have usually involved major generals.
Narasimhan said the modalities of resolving the border situation, with focus on concerns brought to the table by both sides, could figure on the agenda of the talks.
Defence minister Rajnath Singh on Tuesday announced that a meeting between senior Indian and Chinese military officials would take place on June 6 to discuss the border situation.
Northern Army commander Lieutenant General YK Joshi was in Leh on Wednesday for a security review of the sensitive sector where Indian and Chinese soldiers are eyeball-to-eyeball at four locations along the LAC.
Several rounds of talks between local military commanders, including three rounds of discussions between major generals, have failed to break the stalemate that began with a violent confrontation between rival patrols near Pangong Tso four weeks ago.
Around 250 soldiers from the two countries clashed near Pangong Tso on the night of May 5-6 with the scuffle leaving scores of troops injured. While an immediate flare-up was avoided as both armies stuck to protocols to resolve the situation, tensions swiftly spread to other pockets along the LAC.
China has marshalled close to 5,000 soldiers and deployed tanks and artillery guns on its side of the disputed border in the Ladakh sector where India has also sent military reinforcements and matched the neighbour’s military moves, as reported by Hindustan Times on May 26.
China’s state-run media has described the latest tensions as the worst since the 2017 Doklam standoff that lasted 73 days.
HT was the first to report on May 10 about tensions flaring up between India and China in north Sikkim where 150 soldiers were involved in a tense standoff a day earlier. Four Indian and seven Chinese soldiers were injured at Naku La during the confrontation.