Indian Army soldiers atop a T-90 tank in Ladakh | Representational image: ANI
Indian Army soldiers atop a T-90 tank in Ladakh | Representational image | ANI
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New Delhi: The Indian government is considering a proposal mooted by China to reduce tensions at the Line of Actual Control (LAC) even as the two armies maintain status quo in Ladakh, ThePrint has learnt.

Sources in the defence and security establishment refused to give details about the proposal, saying it remains “highly confidential”. Asked if the proposal was about withdrawal of armoured elements and artillery from the LAC, the sources replied in the negative.

They said the authorities are yet to take a final call on the proposal but “discussions are on”.

“The Chinese did come out with a proposal during the last military-level talks held on 12 October. The proposal is being looked at,” said a source. “The matter is under consideration by the top hierarchy and is confidential. Similarly, we have also moved proposals for reducing tensions.”

India and China remain locked in a standoff at Ladakh, months after tensions first began with Chinese incursions along the LAC. The two armies now look set to maintain forward deployment at the border through Ladakh’s bitter winter.

There have been multiple rounds of diplomatic and military talks so far, but a solution is yet to be arrived at. The two countries are expected to hold the eighth round of military talks, but a date hasn’t been decided so far. 

External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar had said last week that India and China are engaged in talks to resolve the border standoff, adding that what is going on is “something confidential”.


Also Read: Why LAC could end up like LoC with more Indian Army deployment after China tensions ease


Rotation of troops continues

With no end in sight yet, the Army has started drawing up a summer strategy in Ladakh, and is looking at greater permanent deployment of troops in the area.

Top government sources had said earlier this month the Indian forces will at no point carry out any unilateral reduction in deployment in forward areas, adding that any such step will be mutual and through a proper verification process that will have to be decided by both sides.

This is so because at some points where the two armies are locked in a standoff, the Indians need more time to reach the location than the People’s Liberation Army (PLA), which has better road connectivity and the advantage of plains on its side, the sources said.

“So, you can’t have a situation where both sides withdraw armoured elements or tanks only to later find Chinese coming back later and we playing catch-up,” a source said.

Giving an overview of the current situation at the LAC, another source said both sides are maintaining the status quo. This means both India and China continue to hold on to their positions at all friction points, including the southern banks of the Pangong Tso.

“The only development that is happening is that both sides are continuing with the rotation of troops. India has been doing it and so are the Chinese,” the source added.

The rotation of troops is an exercise aimed at ensuring soldiers remain fighting fit and don’t fall prey to the high altitude and extreme cold. 


Also Read: Hybrid war, Quad or sitting it out? The 5 options for India against China


 

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4 COMMENTS

  1. There is no such thing called “China promises peace”. China will attack India. Right now they are studying the strength (man and war machines numbers), the deployment time taken by India. Once this study is done they (china) will tell India something like this “We should live like good neighbors, Let us please defuse this. We will take our army back first”.

    And they WILL take their troops back. They will wait for a month and then suddenly they will attack India with double of force that they calculated during their ‘Studies’ of previous deployment.

    Remember THERE IS NO SUCH THING CALLED ‘CHINA WANTS PEACE’

  2. Aggression and offensive movements have never succeeded in extreme cold and high altitudes where an ex-General said the survival was the issue and not fighting. If we are better prepared to survive the Chines will think twice. It is not just the equipment, the experience are motivation probably plays a bigger role.
    If we not have the Menons and silent Generals another Himalayn Blunder will not happen.

  3. Realistic column by Dr Sanjaya Baru in IE today. A new normal needs to be forged between two large neighbours that respects their core interests and accepts the reality of asymmetry. It should not require a war to come into being.

  4. Chinese don’t have the guts to fight they were rattled by revocation of article 370 and subsequent statements made by Amit shah regarding Aksai chin they want an agreement on Aksai chin only they now india under MODI IS DIFFERENT and also they cannot take casualties

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