Standoff between India-China in Ladakh ends after talks

Pangong Tso(Lake) in Ladakh, India. (file photo)

DHARAMSALA, 12 Sept: The border tensions between India and China flared up once again following a face-off between Indian and Chinese troops in eastern Ladakh along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) on Wednesday, reports the Print.

The situation was defused, and the soldiers “disengaged”, only after talks between senior military officers from both sides, the report said.

The scuffle ensued after the Chinese soldiers objected to an Indian army team on patrol near the northern bank of the 134-km-long Pangong Tso(Lake) early Wednesday morning, the report said citing an Indian army source.

To prevent the situation from spiralling into a major confrontation, it was stated that a delegation-level meeting was immediately called at the Border Personnel Meeting (BPM) point in Chusul-Moldo, near the face-off spot.

“Delegation level talks were held at the Brigadier level yesterday. The situation has been de-escalated and soldiers have completely disengaged from both sides,” a senior Army officer at the force’s headquarters in the national capital was quoted as saying in the report.

The officer has further said that the incident occurred due to differing perceptions of the LAC and that there were established mechanisms to resolve such occurrences.

While transgressions are persistent along the unsettled LAC, India’s move to revoke special privileges to Jammu and Kashmir under Article 370 last month is stated to have angered Beijing.

China has strongly objected to the conversion of Ladakh into a Union Territory and besides supporting its all-weather friend Pakistan’s diplomatic moves at the United Nations over the matter.

China reportedly controls two-thirds of the lake, which extends from Tibet to Ladakh. In August 2017 a face-off took place between two patrolling parties along the disputed ‘Finger-5 to Finger-8’ area on the north bank of Pangong Tso in which several hundred soldiers were seen using stones and rods to hit out at each other when soldiers from India and China were already engaged in an explosive confrontation in Bhutan’s Doklam near the Sikkim-Bhutan-Tibet tri-junction.

As the incident occurred just a month ahead of Chinese President Xi Jinping’s scheduled visit to India for the second informal summit with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, The Hindu reported that standoffs precede major bilateral visits between the two Asian giants.

“While the LAC has remained largely peaceful, there has been a pattern of stand-offs ahead of major bilateral visits between the two countries,” the report said.

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