Senin, 11 Oktober 2021

India, China army talks fail to defuse Ladakh border tensions - ABC News

Talks between Indian and Chinese army commanders to disengage troops from key friction areas along their border have ended in a stalemate, failing to ease a 17-month stand-off that has sometimes led to deadly clashes.

The two sides acknowledged the impasse means the two nations will keep troops in the forward areas of Ladakh for a second consecutive winter, in dangerously freezing temperatures.

In a statement, India's defence ministry said it gave "constructive suggestions" but the Chinese side was "not agreeable" and "could not provide any forward-looking proposals".

A statement from a Chinese military spokesperson said the Indian side stuck to "unreasonable and unrealistic demands, adding difficulties to the negotiations".

After a gap of two months, commanders from both armies met for the talks at Moldo on the Chinese side of the Ladakh area.

Since February, both India and China have withdrawn troops from some face-off sites on the northern and southern banks of the Pangong Tso lake, Gogra River and the Galwan Valley, however, both continue to maintain extra troops as part of a multi-tier deployment.

An Indian army convoy moves through a mountainous region
Parts of Ladakh drop to -30 Celsius during winter.(AP: Dar Yasin/File)

Troops have been added at the disputed areas around Demchok and Depsang Plains, Indian media reports say.

The talks came amid frustration expressed by the Indian army chief at what he called the massive deployment of troops and weaponry by the Chinese side.

"Yes, it is a matter of concern that the large-scale buildup has occurred and continues to be in place, and to sustain that kind of a build-up, there has been an equal amount of infrastructure development on the Chinese side," General Manoj Mukund Naravane said.

"So, it means that [China is] there to stay. We are keeping a close watch on all these developments, but if [it is] there to stay, we are there to stay, too," he said.

The Chinese statement came from Senior Colonel Long Shaohua of the Western Theatre Command.

"China's determination to safeguard its sovereignty is unwavering, and China hopes India will not misjudge the situation," Colonel Long said.

Temperatures in the forward areas in Ladakh drop to -30 Celsius, typically in January.

Troops from both sides used to retreat to their traditional summer holding positions around this time.

However, since the face-off started in May, 2020, they have continued to remain close to the disputed border.

Both countries have stationed tens of thousands of soldiers — backed by artillery, tanks and fighter jets — along the de facto border, called the Line of Actual Control.

Last year, 20 Indian troops were killed along the disputed border in a clash with Chinese soldiers that involved clubs, stones and fists. China said it lost four soldiers.

An Indian fighter plane flies over a mountain range
Indian media reports China has widened airstrips in eastern Ladakh.(Reuters: Danish Siddiqui/File)

The Line of Actual Control separates Chinese and Indian-held territories from Ladakh in the west to India's eastern state of Arunachal Pradesh, which China claims in its entirety.

India and China fought a deadly war over the border region in 1962.

Since the standoff began last year, the Chinese have been building build dozens of large, weather-proof structures along the Line of Actual Control in eastern Ladakh for their troops to stay in during the winter.

New helipads, widening of airstrips, new barracks, new surface-to-air missile sites and radar locations have also been reported by Indian media.

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The China-India border is one of the world's most dangerous flashpoints.


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2021-10-11 21:18:25Z

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