LAC stand-off talks fail; China accuses India of insisting on ‘unreasonable, unrealistic’ demands – Deccan Herald

The latest round of negotiations between the Indian Army and the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) has failed to make any headway to resolve the stand-off along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in eastern Ladakh.

India has alleged its “constructive suggestions” for the mutual withdrawal of troops from the remaining face-off points along the LAC were not accepted by China.

China has accused India of insisting on “unreasonable and unrealistic demands” when the senior military commanders of the two nations held the 13th round of negotiations to resolve the military stand-off along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) eastern Ladakh. The Chinese PLA has also alleged that the Indian Army’s insistence on its demands made the negotiations ‘difficult’.

Lt. Gen. P G K Menon, the commander of the XIV Corps of the Indian Army, met Maj Gen Liu Lin, his counterpart in the South Xinjiang Military District of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA). The meeting took place on the communist country’s side at the Chushul-Moldo point on the LAC on Sunday. It started at 10:30 am and continued till 7:00 pm.

During the meeting, the Indian side made constructive suggestions for resolving the remaining areas but the Chinese side was not agreeable and also could not provide any forward-looking proposals, the Ministry of Defence said in a statement in New Delhi. “The meeting thus did not result in resolution of the remaining areas.”

India insisted on the unreasonable and unrealistic demands, which made the negotiations more difficult, Senior Colonel Long Shaohua, the spokesperson for the Western Theatre Command of the Chinese PLA, alleged in a statement released early on Monday. “China hopes the Indian side will not misjudge the situation, cherish the hard-won situation in the China-India border areas, show sincerity and take actions, and work with China to jointly safeguard peace and stability in the border areas,” he added.

The 18-month-long stand-off along the LAC is still continuing at several places along the LAC, although the two sides mutually withdrew soldiers on the northern and southern banks of Pangong Tso (lake) in February as well as the Gogra Post in August.

The Chinese PLA claimed that it had made great efforts during the talks with the Indian Army to “promote easing and cooling of the border situation” and fully demonstrated its sincerity in maintaining “overall interests of bilateral military relations”. “However, the Indian side still persisted in its unreasonable and unrealistic demands, which added difficulties to the negotiations,” it alleged

The Chinese PLA refused to accept the Indian Army’s demand for discussion for mutual withdrawal of front-line troops from all the remaining face-off points, including the Patrol Point 15 or ‘Hot Springs”. The Indian Army asked the Chinese PLA to stop mobilising large numbers of troops in the ‘depth’ areas along the LAC as such deployment was in violation of the 1993 bilateral agreement.

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The Indian Army chief Gen M M Naravane on Saturday said that the continuing large-scale build-up by the Chinese PLA along the LAC remained “a matter of concern”. He also said that India would continue with its counter-deployment as long as China would not withdraw the additional troops it amassed in the border areas over the past 18 months.

The incursion attempts by the Chinese PLA soldiers in Uttarakhand and Arunachal Pradesh in the recent weeks fuelled speculation about the possibility of the stand-off along the LAC in the western sector of the disputed boundary between the two nations spreading to the middle and eastern sectors too.

After India and China pulled out troops from both the banks of Pangong Tso earlier this year, the disengagement in Gogra Post and Hot Springs were perceived to be the “low hanging fruits” for the negotiations to resolve the stand-off along the LAC. But the 11th round of talks between the military commanders of the two sides on April 9 last ended in a stalemate, which was broken only after the senior diplomats of the two sides had a video conference on June 25 and External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar had a meeting with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi in Dushanbe on July 14.

The senior military commanders of India and China had the 12th round of talks at Chushul-Moldo meeting point on the LAC on July 31. The two sides discussed a possible agreement on disengagement on Gogra and Hot Springs. But the Chinese PLA backtracked from a deal with the Indian Army on withdrawal of troops from Hot Springs and only agreed on disengagement from Gogra Post. The top brass of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government in New Delhi too finally gave its nod for resolving the face-off at Gogra Post only. The two sides announced disengagement of troops from Gogra Post on August 6 – about a week after the 12th round of talks between the military commanders.

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LAC stand-off talks fail; China accuses India of insisting on ‘unreasonable, unrealistic’ demands – Deccan Herald

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