India, China To Hold 13th Negotiation Round To Clear Border Standoffs

Indian army convoy carrying reinforcement and supplies, drive towards Leh, on a highway bordering China, on September 2, 2020, in Gagangir, India. India and China have stumbled once again into a bloody clash over their shared border. India rushed additional troops to Ladakh after claiming to have foiled what it called China's provocative maneuvers to change the status of Line of Actual Control, the de-facto border between the two countries, in the Himalayan region. As many as 20 Indian soldiers were killed in a violent face-off with Chinese troops in June this year in the Galwan Valley along the Himalayas. Chinese and Indian troops attacked each other with batons and rocks. The deadliest clash since the 1962 India-China war and both have not exchanged gunfire at the border since 1967. Since the recent clash, there has been no sign of a breakthrough. India said its soldiers were killed by Chinese troops when top commanders had agreed to defuse tensions on the Line of Actual Control, the disputed border between the two nuclear-armed neighbours. China rejected the allegations, blaming Indian soldiers for provoking the conflict, which took place at the freezing height of 14,000 feet. The killing of soldiers has led to a call for boycott of Chinese goods in India. (Yawar Nazir/Getty Images)

NEW DELHI — India and China are expected to hold the 13th round of high-level military talk for the reconciliation of an unresolved border issue after having cleared two other points of friction since the bilateral aggression last year.

The two nations have already glossed over most issues that came up after May 2020, including Pangong lake, Galwan valley, and Gogra Heights.

“An invitation is being sent to the Chinese military to discuss the resolution of the Hot Springs area,” a government source said. “We are hopeful of resolving the matter shortly.”

This would be the last of the latest friction points that had come up post-Chinese aggression last year.

Other matters like the Depsang Plains are legacy issues that have been continuing for many years now.

Military tensions between India and China arise from a 2,100-mile-long disputed border. The versatile topography of the region includes rivers, ice caps, and lakes, all of which means the line can keep shifting. At 21,000 feet, the unforgiving terrains and an incredibly thin atmosphere are not much help in that regard.

Sources said that the Chinese have been insisting on separating the new and legacy issues during the talks for the resolution of the pending disputes.

However, India has been focusing on resolving and discussing both the new and legacy issues together and finding a solution.

So far, India and China have held 12 rounds of talks that have helped resolve the Issues in the Pangong area and Gogra heights.

The China Study Group, including National Security Advisor Ajit Doval, Chief of Defence Staff General Bipin Rawat, and Army chief General Manoj Mukund Naravane, have been guiding the talks with China under the top leadership, including the Prime Ministers’ Office.

The Chinese had transgressed into multiple areas in India’s far northern union territory of Ladakh in 2020, but the Indian side responded strongly by checking their movement.

India and China have deployed more than 50,000 troops each in the high-altitude areas ever since because, despite disengagement, there has not been any de-escalation from either side.

India has its reasonable apprehensions of the Chinese military intentions and has ensured that every movement of the Chinese is closely monitored.

Both the countries have, over the years, developed extensive infrastructure along the border to facilitate operation. Satellite imagery earlier this year showed that one of the Chinese villages was 30 kilometers (18.6 miles) over the border in India’s Arunachal Pradesh which shares its borders to the north with China, in the east with Bhutan, and southwest of the state lies Myanmar.

The last round of talks had resulted in disengagement from the Gogra Heights area in eastern Ladakh. Earlier in February, the Indians and Chinese had moved back from both the banks of the Pangong lake and stopped patrolling in contentious areas.

(With inputs from ANI)

Edited by Amrita Das and Krishna Kakani

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