India, China hold 18th round of corps commander talks to resolve military standoff
23 April, 2023 | Vaishali Sharma
The meeting, led by Fire and Fury Corps Commander Lt Gen Rashim Bali and an equivalent rank officer from the Chinese side, is taking place today in the eastern Ladakh sector.
India and China are holding the 18th round of Corps Commander Level talks on Sunday (today) at the Chushul-Moldo meeting point in the Eastern Ladakh sector, in an attempt to resolve the three-year-old military standoff. The meeting, led by Fire and Fury Corps Commander Lt Gen Rashim Bali and an equivalent rank officer from the Chinese side, is taking place today in the eastern Ladakh sector, according to ANI.
This meeting comes after a five-month hiatus. The two sides’ last meeting at the Corps Commander level was in December of last year. The meeting takes place at a time when both sides are engaged in rapid construction activities along their respective border areas in order to strengthen their respective positions. Both sides have repeatedly raised the issue of the Depsang plains, Demchok, and disengagement.
After the Chinese side tried to change the status quo on the Line of Actual Control (LAC) by aggressively moving forward with heavy weaponry and a large number of troops in 2020 during the initial period of the Covid pandemic, corps commander-level talks began to resolve the issues between the two sides in the eastern Ladakh area.
To avoid confrontations, both sides have disengaged and moved to new positions.
During the talks, the two sides agreed to maintain close contact and dialogue through military and diplomatic channels in order to reach a mutually acceptable resolution of the remaining issues as soon as possible.
However, the Chinese side does not appear to be in a hurry to resolve the issues and is refusing to allow any forward movement on legacy issues such as the Depsang plains.
They have been preventing Indian patrols from moving to their patrolling points in that sector for quite some time.
The Chinese Defence Minister will also be in India next week for the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) Defence Ministers’ meeting in the national capital.
The chances of the two sides de-escalating in the near future do not appear promising, and the Indian side is continuing to deploy heavily in the area to guard against any Chinese attempts to change the status quo, as they continue to do.
One such attempt was foiled in December last year in Yangtse when a Chinese contingent was pushed back to its area after attempting to approach Indian positions on the LAC there.