India, China corp commanders start 3rd round talks to ease border stand-off in Ladakh
Top military commanders of Indian and Chinese armies are meeting in Ladakh’s Chushul on Tuesday in their third attempt to ease tension along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) as Indian forces ramped up deployment along the border in a response to China’s aggressive posturing.
Lieutenant General Harinder Singh, commander of the Leh-based 14 Corps, and Major General Liu Lin, commander of the South Xinjiang military region, are leading their sides in the talks to thrash out the modalities of de-escalation and disengagement process on mutual terms.
During the meeting, the Indian side could again demand the pullback of Chinese troops from several friction points and also the restoration of status quo ante in the strategic region of the Finger Area, Gogra Post-Hot Springs and Galwan Valley.
The Indian Army has deployed six T-90 missile-firing tanks and top-of-the-line shoulder-fired anti-tank missile systems in the Galwan Valley sector, in an indication that it wants to resolve the issue of status quo ante in east Ladakh but is also prepared for the worst-case scenario.
The army’s decision to deploy the T-90 Bhishma tanks was taken after the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) had beefed up its positions on the river bed with armoured personnel carriers and troop tents.
Lt Gen Singh and Major Gen Liu had first met on June 6 and then again on June 22 in Moldo on the Chinese side of LAC after border tensions erupted between both the countries in May.
The second meeting was held just a week after the June 15 violent face-off between soldiers of the Indian Army and China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA) in eastern Ladakh’s Galwan Valley.
India and China have been involved in talks to ease the ongoing tensions since the two armies locked in the border standoff that began with a confrontation between rival patrols near Pangong Lake on May 5.
Then, 20 Indian soldiers were killed in a violent face-off in Galwan Valley after an attempt by the Chinese troops to unilaterally change the status quo during the de-escalation.