India, China militaries discuss border crisis for nine hours

New Delhi, July 31 (IANS) Military delegates from India and China deliberated for almost nine hours to resolve the border crisis on Saturday at Moldo on the Chinese side in the Ladakh region.Both the forces have not come out with any statement so far, but sources said that both sides are keen on early disengagement at the other friction areas. The talks started at 10: 30 am and continued for nine long hours.The talks are happening after a gap of three months. Indian military delegates are discussing disengagement at friction areas like Hot Springs, Gogra and the 900 sq km Depsang plains.The Indian delegation was led by Leh-based XIV Corps chief Lt Gen P.G.K. Menon, and Additional Secretary (East Asia) in the Ministry of External Affairs, Naveen Srivastava.The Chinese military delegation was led by the Commander of the PLA’s Western Theatre Command, Xu Qiling, who was appointed earlier this month.The build-up in Depsang was not being considered as part of the current standoff that started in May last year as escalation there took place in 2013. India had insisted during the recent military commander meetings to resolve all the issues along the Line of Actual Control.”The initial attempt will be to resolve Gogra and Hot Springs. Finding a solution to Depsang might be tricky and take longer,” said an officer.In April, during the 11th round of Corps Commander level talk, the focus was disengagement on the friction points at Gogra, Hot Springs and Depsang. On February 20, Indian and Chinese militaries held the 10th round of dialogue to de-escalate tension along the Line of Actual Control.Till now, apart from 11 rounds of Corps Commanders-level talks, the two forces have also held 10 Major Generals level, 55 Brigadiers level talks and 1,450 calls over hotlines.China has been enhancing military infrastructure across the Line of Control.Looking at it, India has changed its posture towards China, unlike its previous defensive approach that placed a premium on fending on Chinese aggression, India is now catering to military options to strike back and has reoriented its military accordingly.India has reoriented around 50,000 troops whose main focus will be the disputed border with China. The reorientation comes when China is refurbishing its existing air-fields in Tibetan Plateau that will allow twin-engines fighter aircraft to be stationed, sources said.In addition, China has also brought troops from the Tibet Military region to the Xinjiang region that passes through Karakoram range down south Uttarakhand.Further, they have deployed larger numbers of long range artillery and are rapidly building infrastructure in the Tibetan Plateau.So far, the troops of two Himalayan giants have disengaged from both the banks of Pangong Tso in February this year.–IANSsk/arm

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