India, China to hold ninth round of corps commander level talks over Ladakh standoff tomorrow
India and China will hold the ninth round of military talks to defuse border tensions in eastern Ladakh on Sunday, officials familiar with the development said on the eve of the dialogue. The corps commander-level talks will be held at Moldo on the Chinese side of the Line of Actual Control (LAC), the officials said.
Senior commanders had last met on November 6. The situation in the Ladakh sector remains tense and the ongoing military dialogue has not led to any breakthrough.
On January 12, army chief General Manoj Mukund Naravane said that the Indian Army was prepared to hold its ground in eastern Ladakh “for as long as it takes” to achieve national objectives in case the ongoing military and diplomatic talks with China are prolonged.
During the eighth round of talks on November 6, the Indian Army and the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) said they will ensure their front-line soldiers “exercise restraint and avoid misunderstanding and miscalculation” along the LAC.
Experts said talks are deadlocked because of serious differences between the two sides on the conditions of disengagement.
Both India and China are prepared for a long haul in the Ladakh sector and firm about holding forward positions along the LAC through the harsh winter months.
The PLA recently moved back at least 10,000 soldiers from depth areas to rear positions but its frontline deployments remain unchanged, as previously reported by the Hindustan Times.
Earlier, Naravane said India should not read too much into the withdrawal of Chinese troops from depth areas on the Tibetan plateau as there has been absolutely no cut in troop strength by either side at friction points in the Ladakh sector, where the border standoff between the two nuclear powers is in its ninth month.
He said India hoped to reach an agreement with China based on the principles of “mutual and equal security” that would result in disengagement of border troops at friction points and subsequent de-escalation of conflict in the Ladakh theatre.