LAC standoff

India, China commanders meet

Lay groundwork for another military-level interaction on June 6

India, China commanders meet

Military structures are seen at Pangong Tso along the Line of Actual Control in a satellite image taken on May 27. Planet Labs/Reuters

Ajay Banerjee

Tribune News Service

New Delhi, June 2

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In an attempt to ease tension in two disputed areas along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in eastern Ladakh, the Commander of the Leh-based 14 Corps of the Indian Army is scheduled to meet his Chinese equivalent at Chushul-Moldo on June 6.

Chushul-Moldo is one of the two designated meeting points in Ladakh.

‘Large number of Chinese present’

A large number of Chinese (troops) are present in the disputed area (along the LAC) and our troops are also holding ground. — Rajnath Singh, Defence Minister

Sources in the Army said the two top commanders were slated to meet on June 6 to chalk out a way to move out troops from the two spots—around “Finger-4” in the north of Pangong Tso and Gogra.

The groundwork for the top commanders’ meeting was laid out when the Major General heading the 3 Division of the Army met his Chinese counterpart today.

Existing tension is in two disputed areas along the LAC where both sides have varying perceptions about it.

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh today told a news channel that a “large number of Chinese are present in the disputed area and our troops are also holding ground”.

As per the existing framework of LAC management between India and China, troops of either side do not hold ground in disputed areas of the LAC. They come for patrol and return. The positioning of tanks and artillery there makes the matter serious this time. Troops have also clashed there, at least once.

As regards the Galwan valley, the third spot of tension at the confluence of Shyok and Galwan rivers, India has conveyed to China that its troops were in areas that were never disputed.

The alignment of LAC is accepted as per the China Claim Line of 1956. Indian troops used to patrol up to an accepted point in the Galwan valley, but this time Chinese troops tried to stop them 5 km short of that point. Indian troops are forward located and the aim is to hold ground in Galwan valley and also north of Pangong Tso.

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