File image of Indian External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar and his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi | Photo: ANI
File image of Indian External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar and his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi | Photo: ANI
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New Delhi: India’s move to occupy heights dominating the southern bank of Pangong Tso and climb up ridges on the northern bank is a “gamble” that could help produce a breakthrough in negotiations with China.

Sources in the defence and security establishment said with India outsmarting China’s attempt to capture fresh territory on the southern bank over the weekend, the message is clear — India is ready to counter any aggression.

The sources said the heights occupied will give India a better bargaining chip for the talks, which have yielded no results since July.

However, the sources indicated that while four rounds of brigadier-level talks have been held, as well meetings between diplomats under the Working Mechanism for Consultation and Coordination on India-China Border Affairs (WMCC), only parleys at higher levels can accelerate things.

ThePrint has learnt that External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar and his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi are expected to meet on the sidelines of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) foreign ministers’ meeting next week in Russia. It is also learnt that China has sought a meeting with Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, who is currently in Russia.

According to Indian diplomatic sources, Jaishankar and Wang are likely to have a “pull-aside” to discuss the “way forward” on the tensions that erupted once again.

Jaishankar and Wang had a one-on-one phone conversation and reached an “understanding” two days after the 15 June Galwan Valley clash in which 20 Indians soldiers were killed.


Also read: Army now holding 30 dominating heights, earlier unoccupied, on southern bank of Pangong Tso


It’s a ‘gamble’

Sources said the latest move by India, which they underlined was pre-emptive in nature, is a “gamble”, and one has to wait and watch how it plays out.

Diplomatic and military sources maintain that it is still a positive sign that both parties are talking and engaging in a dialogue, even as New Delhi and Beijing are exploring higher diplomatic and military-level talks for a solution.

Sources said during the 2013 Depsang incursion by the Chinese, a bargaining move had been carried out by the Indian Army.

“However, it was very localised. They remained in the Depsang Plains; we made some moves in Chushul. The developments at the LAC since May are not ‘usual’. So, nothing can really be compared to this,” a source explained.

Former Northern Army commander Lt Gen. D.S. Hooda (retd) said: “It will be positive if the latest developments in eastern Ladakh would pave way for forward movement in talks that had been stalled or reached a deadlock.”

Former Army chief Gen. V.P. Malik tweeted that latest moves at the LAC indicate a distinct change in the way India is dealing with China on the border issue. “It is no longer a static policy,” he said.

Rajnath’s Moscow visit

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh is in Russia currently to take part in an SCO meet, and China is learnt to have sought a meeting with him. But no bilateral talks have been scheduled between Singh and his Chinese counterpart Gen. Wei Fenghe yet.

However, the ongoing LAC tensions are likely to figure in Singh’s bilateral talks with his Russian counterpart Sergey Shoygu, just like they did when he last travelled to Moscow in June.

Army chief Gen. M.M. Naravane is in Ladakh for two days, during which he will visit forward locations along the LAC and also review the full operational alertness in the region.

Air Chief Marshal R.K.S. Bhadauria is also visiting the frontline air bases in the eastern sector.


Also read: ‘Standing up against China’ — India set to step into another minilateral within Indo-Pacific


 

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8 Comments Share Your Views

8 COMMENTS

  1. That is the whole idea of occupying worthless heights and brackish water lake in Eastern Ladakh.. The occupation of Southern heights of the Pangong lake all the way to Chusul is a good reminder to the Chinese that their time of strong arm tactics at LAC is over. They either negotiate in good faith or just vacate whatever they made an effort to occupy. My preference is that they vacate all the desolate land they occupied including in 1962 clash. Right now that invincibility idea of China is badly hurt. An amicable settlement is the best they can hope. Otherwise well equipped and mountain trained Indian army will frustrate all their designs and more of their prestige will be hurt. Indian Army has only one motive that is come of 1962 defeat psychology.

  2. All this talk about bargaining chips is just nonsense………..When will the 1.4 million Indian army finally going to evict the invading Chinese..PLA……………….that is the real question!!!

  3. Jai Shankar , if he meets Wang To shud look him in the eye with Monalisa smile. He shud not allow Wang to give him lecture like he did during last phone conversation in June.
    He is no more a FS.

  4. Snehesh always mentions ” in which 20 Indian soldiers were killed”. Request you to mention it in different way as the loss was on both the sides.

    Entire India knows there was loss of life on both the sides but you are making it one sided only.

  5. In this context , it may be apt to share with readers this Vedic astrology writer’s one of predictive alerts through article -“ Predictions for coming year 2020 by kushal kumar” – published last year 2019 on 10 October , 2019 at theindiapost.com. One of the predictive alerts for July to October ( November) 2020 in relation to India reads like this :-
    “ The second half of the year from July to October/November looks to be addressing the setbacks or delay of the past , particularly those of the first half. …………………………………..The obstructive forces may weaken to some extent. It seems the said period of second half can boost up the ambitious side of the nation”. It may be added that the predictive alerts in article of 10 October , 2019 had carried one interesting hint , which had said :- “ danger can come via sea”. HP-Uttarakhand-J&K were also indicated for quake-like something during April –June or later in 2020. It may be observed that centre of focus continues to be , whether in April-June or in August , a lake looking -like a sea to the viewer, known as Pangong Tso Lake , said to be 150 kms long dunning through Indian territory passing over to China.
    https://www.theindiapost.com/articles/predictions-for-coming-year-2020-by-kushal-kumar/
    A recent article of this writer – “ Planetary configuration in August -September 2020 suggest something historic , something rare” – published at nirpakhawaaz.com on 20 July , 2020 also indicates some interesting inputs in relation to war-like or hostile happenings involving vulnerable countries across the globe. The dates 27 to 29 in August , 2020 were indicated for more care and appropriate strategy. And the incident in southern bank of Pangong Tso Lake has taken place on the night of 29/30 August 2020. The Chinese troops are reported to be continuing the attempt after 29/30 night August. And this writer’s predictive alert in the said article of 20 July 2020 has said :- “August-September , particularly 10 August to 11 September , in present year 2020 appear something loaded with mini-war , if not full-fledged war somewhere across the globe in vulnerable countries between two camps – one camp claiming to be or advocating social-cum-universal way of life while the other one appears to be having expansionist tones”.
    http://www.nirpakhawaaz.com/2020/07/20/planetary-configuration-in-august-september-2020-suggest-something-historic-something-rare/

  6. The scorpion that reveals itself, however aggressively, is far less dangerous than that which lurks concealed beneath the blanket; this surely is the most positive outcome of the ongoing crisis on the LAC, a crisis entirely initiated by China. The endgame is yet far away; more than the battle-hardened Indian military, it is the Indian civilian populace that will be tested for its courage and endurance in the coming year.

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