New Delhi: India and China are working out the dates for the next round of military talks to resolve the tensions at the Line of Actual Control in eastern Ladakh. But Chief of Defence Staff Gen. Bipin Rawat said Monday that if the parleys between the two countries don’t yield any results, there are “military options” to deal with the issue of transgressions.
Sources in the defence and security establishment told ThePrint that dates for the next round of talks are being finalised, as is the level at which the meeting would be held — lieutenant general or major general.
ThePrint had reported on 4 August that the military talks had reached a deadlock with China digging in on its new claims in Pangong Tso, Galwan Valley, Depsang Plains and Gogra.
While both sides officially focus on talks, China is continuing with the construction of roads, bridges, helipads and military camps on its side of the LAC.
Sources in the security establishment monitoring the situation daily said the new construction is meant to provide back-up for the thousands of troops China has moved forward near the LAC, and also into the Indian side, since May this year.
CDS talks military options
CDS Rawat said “the military options to deal with transgressions by the Chinese Army in Ladakh are on, but will be exercised only if talks at the military and the diplomatic level fail”.
However, he refused to discuss the kind of military options that India could exercise to push back the People’s Liberation Army (PLA).
Sources in the defence establishment said that military options are always available, but the call has to be taken at the government level.
“The focus right now is on talks. The CDS has said there are military options if the talks fail,” a source said when asked what the CDS meant by talking about military options.
A second source explained that India has moved over 30,000 additional troops into Ladakh backed by additional equipment, including tanks, artillery and others.
“All the three services have been put on operational alert. There is a greater cohesion in planning and logistics,” a source said.
Since May, the Chinese have moved thousands of troops to the LAC, backed by hundreds of artillery guns, tanks and other mechanised columns, besides missile systems.
The Chinese are also suspected to have activated their S-400 Triumf air defence system.