January 11, 2022
NEW DELHI – India is looking forward to a constructive dialogue with China at the 14th round of Corps Commander-level talks between the two countries on Wednesday to resolve the military stand-off at Eastern Ladakh despite Beijing’s increasingly aggressive behaviour on territorial issues.
The talks will take place at Chushul-Moldo meeting point on the Chinese side. Lt Gen Anindya Sengupta will lead the Indian delegation at the talks. He recently took over as commander of the Leh-based XIV Corps from Lt Gen PGK Menon, who had led the Indian team at some of the previous meetings.
Officials say the discussions will focus on disengagement of forces at the remaining friction points like Hot Springs, Depsang and Demchok.
”We are looking forward to a constructive dialogue that will eventually lead to ending the current face-off but we know anything can happen at the upcoming talks,” an official said.
The meeting comes close on the heels of certain unsavoury developments that have further vitiated the atmosphere between the two countries. The incidents include China’s move to announce its own names for more than 15 places in Arunachal Pradesh. India has asked China to stop indulging in ‘antics’ and amicably resolve the ongoing stand-off for restoring peace in the border areas.
The 13th round of talks held at Chushul-Moldo border on 10 October 2021 had ended in a stalemate. The Indian Army had claimed that all the “constructive suggestions” made by it were not acceptable to the Chinese side, which also could not provide any “forward-looking” proposals.
In their virtual diplomatic talks on 18 November, India and China agreed to hold the 14th round of military talks at an early date to achieve the objective of complete disengagement in remaining friction points in Eastern Ladakh.
It is learnt that the Indian side had sent at least two proposals for the 14th round of talks in the last two months but the Chinese side had not been responding to them positively so far.
The Ladakh face-off between the two armies began in May 2020 when the world was grappling with the challenge posed by the Covid-19 pandemic. Both sides gradually enhanced their deployment by rushing in tens of thousands of soldiers as well as heavy weaponry.
As a result of a series of military and diplomatic talks, the two sides completed the disengagement process last year in the north and south banks of the Pangong Tso Lake and in the Gogra area.