India and China held the 13th round of Corps Commander level talks in Moldo on Sunday. The meeting, which started at around 10:30 in the morning, ended at around 7 in the evening.
The Indian delegation was led by Lt Gen PGK Menon, Commander of the XIV Corps at Leh, who is responsible for it. line of actual control (LAC) in Ladakh. The Chinese side was led by Major General Liu Lin, Commander of the Xinjiang Military District.
No details of the meeting were immediately available.
Since the standoff began in May 2020, the two sides have been separated by PP14 at Galwan Valley, PP17A at Gogra Post, and the North and South Coast. pangong tso.
A small number of Chinese troops continue on to the Indian side of the LAC near PP15 in Hot Springs. In the plains of Depsang, China is blocking India from accessing its five patrol points – PP10, PP11, PP11A, PP12 and PP13. Some “so-called citizens” of China have pitched tents in the Indian side of Charding Nala in Demchok.
Sunday’s meeting took place after a gap of more than two months – the last round of discussions was held on 31 July. Officials expected an agreement on separation from PP15 at the end of the meeting.
China is investing in infrastructure in its areas facing Ladakh and Arunachal Pradesh. It is testing India’s preparedness with breaches in the central and eastern regions.
The meeting took place amid growing reports of Chinese incursions at various places along the LAC. Indian and Chinese patrols came face to face in Tawang a few days ago and in late August Chinese troops crossed the LAC at Barahoti in Uttarakhand. Army Chief General MM Naravane said on Saturday that China is building infrastructure in the region, and was “here to stay”.
“It is a matter of concern that the large scale construction that had taken place has remained and to sustain that kind of construction, there has been an equal amount of infrastructure development on the Chinese side. That means they are there to stay,” General Naravane had said.
“But if they’re there to stay, we’re there to stay too. And the build-up on our side, and the developments on our side is as good as the PLA has done.”
General Naravane also noted that due to the standoff, the Indian Army had intensified intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance efforts and was monitoring the PLA.
Each side has about 50,000 troops in the region, as well as additional military equipment, weapons, tanks and air defense assets that were brought in last year.
As winter approaches, the two sides have barely a few weeks to part ways – otherwise they will have to spend a second winter in the brutal conditions of Ladakh. However, unlike the unprecedented deployment last winter, neither Indian nor Chinese troops are now on the front lines, or on top of the mountains.
The Indian security establishment is concerned about the massive Chinese infrastructure build-up that could result in the LAC becoming more like a Line of Control (LoC) with Pakistan, even if it is not active.
A few days after the final round of Corps Commander talks on 31 July, the two sides had separated from PP 17A in the Gogra post area, with troops moving back to their traditional bases and creating a temporary no-patrol zone. The agreement was reached after months of impasse starting in February.
However, China refused to withdraw its troops from PP15 at Hot Springs, where its platoon-sized deployment continues.