Army chief General Manoj Mukund Naravane
Army chief General Manoj Mukund Naravane | Manisha Mondal | ThePrint
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New Delhi: Indian and Chinese armies are working out the dates for the next formal discussions between “higher” military authorities in the Ladakh sector to sort out the tensions arising out of the recent violent face-off in the area.

Sources in the know said the dates for the discussions are yet to be fixed, but will be finalised soon.

Clashes on the evening of 5 May, which left several soldiers injured on both sides, have led to tensions on the Line of Actual Control (LAC).

Fist fights also broke out in North Sikkim following aggressive posturing by Chinese soldiers last weekend. However, this was a much milder altercation than what occurred in Eastern Ladakh.

Also read: Why India won’t take sides on US-China spat over Covid, despite skirmishes in Sikkim-Ladakh

Army chief says established protocol will be followed

In a statement issued Thursday, Army Chief General M.M. Naravane sought to play down the development and said the incidents were not linked, and everything is being resolved mutually as per established protocols and strategic guidelines given by Prime Minister Narendra Modi after the two informal India-China summits.

“Temporary and short duration face-offs between border guarding troops do occur along the LAC due to the differing perceptions of the alignment of boundaries, which are not resolved. There were two incidents at Eastern Ladakh and North Sikkim where aggressive behaviour by both sides resulted in minor injuries to troops, post which both sides disengaged after dialogue and interaction at local level,” Gen Naravane said.

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He said both these incidents are neither co-related nor do they have any connection with other global or local activities.

“All such incidents are managed by established mechanisms wherein local formations from both sides resolve issues mutually as per established protocols and strategic guidelines given by the PM after the Wuhan and Mamallaparam summits,” he said.

He added that the Indian troops have always been upholding peace and tranquility along the border areas.

“I can say with confidence that development of infrastructure capabilities along our Northern borders is on track. Our force posture will not suffer due to the COVID pandemic,” the Army chief said.

Following the Doklam stand-off in August 2017, the informal summit at Wuhan in April 2018 led to several steps being identified to de-escalate tensions between both the countries’ military.

ThePrint had on 10 May reported that while the situation in Sikkim had been “resolved”, official “disengagement” had taken place in Ladakh, even though additional troops have been pressed in.

Also read: India isn’t worried about tension with China, unlikely to give in to US pressure on Taiwan


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