Ahead of Moscow meet, India-China take diplomatic steps to thaw tension
Diplomatic talks are reportedly underway between India and China to thaw the tension between the two countries following the firing incident at the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in eastern Ladakh on Tuesday (September 8), ahead of the proposed meeting between External Affairs minister S Jaishankar and his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi in Moscow.
According to Indian Express, while representative-level talks may take place in the next few days, the task at hand is to ease the tension to smoothen the meeting between the two leaders.
On Tuesday, hours after China accused Indian soldiers of firing warning shots after transgressing into its territory near the south bank of Pangong Lake, India said it was Chinese troops – around 30 to 40 – who had come armed with spears, machetes and guns with the plan to occupy heights at Mukpari, a point between Magar Hill and Rezang La.
Their attempts, however, was thwarted by Indian troops, who warned the Chinese that they would be forced to fire if the latter didn’t stop. Indian officials said, Chinese troops fired shots in the air.
According to IE, National Security Advisor Ajit Doval who was briefed on the situation from the military, intelligence and Ministry of External Affairs has relayed the same to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, as Jaishankar left for Moscow on Tuesday.
Quoting government sources, the report said China is “rattled” by the series of pre-emptive steps taken by the Indian Army near the south bank of Pangong Tso since August 29. Indian troops had thwarted Chinese incursions in the Chushul sector and had occupied heights near the south bank of the lake and Rechin La.
In an official statement on Tuesday, India stressing its intention to disengage and de-escalate the situation at the border, blamed China for triggering tension. New Delhi also rubbished China claims that the Indian Army transgressed across the LAC and resorted to firing.
“It is the PLA that has been blatantly violating agreements and carrying out aggressive manoeuvres, while engagement at military, diplomatic and political level is in progress… On September 7, 2020, it was the PLA troops who were attempting to close-in with one of our forward positions along the LAC and when dissuaded by own troops, PLA troops fired a few rounds in the air in an attempt to intimidate own troops. However, despite the grave provocation, own troops exercised great restraint and behaved in a mature and responsible manner,” the stat
The LAC, according to India, runs from LAC Point to Point 5167 to Black Top to Magar Hill to Rezang La and Rechin La almost in a straight line barring a bend near Black Top.
The situation at the border escalated after 20 Indian soldiers and an unspecified number of Chinese troops died in a skirmish in Galwan Valley of eastern Ladakh.