'Improved trust' raises hope of an end to India-China border standoff
Both India and China appear keen on early disengagement of frontline troops along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in eastern Ladakh, which has seen massive build up of troops since May last year.
Both India and China appear keen on early disengagement along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in eastern Ladakh, which has seen massive buildup of troops from both sides since May last year.
The ninth round of talks held between the sparring neighbours on Monday (January 25) looked constructive enough to raise hope of an early solution to a nearly nine-month-long border stand-off. At the end of the meeting, held on the Chinese side of the Moldo-Chushul border, military commanders from both countries agreed to “push for an early disengagement of frontline troops”.
The government of India issued a statement on Monday evening stating that the talks “improved mutual trust and understanding”, giving enough reasons for the two sides to take the momentum ahead and continue further negotiations.
The escalation in eastern Ladakh worsened since the start of summer last year. On June 15, 20 Indian soldiers were killed in a clash with the PLA — a first in more than four decades. Since then, the two countries have amassed troops and weaponry near the LAC, resulting in firing incidents later on. The Indian troops have regained several heights in what is being described as pre-emptive action.
At present, about 50,000 Indian troops are guarding India’s borders in mountainous locations of eastern Ladakh in extremely cold conditions. China, too, has deployed about the same number of troops on its side.
Soldiers from the two countries sparred near Naku La Pass in Sikkim last week with “insignificant and minor injuries” on both sides, the Army said.