New Delhi: A marathon military meeting was held between Indian and Chinese military commanders to thrash out the tensions at the Line of Actual Control in Ladakh. The meeting, which began at 11:30 am, lasted nearly 11 hours, even as preparations are being made for a diplomatic meeting between the countries.
Army sources said the meeting between Lieutenant General Harinder Singh, the 14 Corps Commander, and his Chinese counterpart, Major General Lin Liu, commander of the South Xinjiang Military District, continued till around 10:30 pm Monday.
The commanders were accompanied by various others in charge of multiple points where their forces are in a standoff.
The meeting held at the Chushul-Moldo point on the Chinese side of the LAC was the second one at this level since tensions began early May. There has been massive mobilisation of troops and firepower on both sides since.
Sources told ThePrint that Lt Gen Singh was to raise the issue of the “premeditated and planned action” by the People’s Liberation Army (PLA), which led to the deaths of the 20 soldiers and injuries to several others in a deadly clash in the Galwan Valley late last Monday.
The two sides were to also focus on deescalation steps that need to be taken to ensure the tensions reduce at the LAC. This includes phase-wise withdrawal of troops from various locations and future patrol plans.
One of the main sticking points is the ‘Finger Area’ of the Pangong lake, where the Chinese have come in till ‘Finger 4’ from Sirijap Post, which lies beyond ‘Finger 8’. India’s perception of the LAC lies beyond Finger 8.
The Chinese have brought in a large number of men and equipment into this area, while India has also boosted its deployment with fresh induction of troops, including specialised forces trained for tactical operations.
As reported by ThePrint, the government has changed the rules of engagement at the LAC, and the new rules do not stop security personnel from using force, including firearms in exceptional situations, to counter the Chinese aggression and transgressions.
India has moved in over two division strengths of additional men and equipment into Eastern Ladakh, which includes artillery and mechanised columns.
Meanwhile, sources said the two sides are likely to hold diplomatic talks at the joint secretary level soon to smoothen the tensions between the two militaries.
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