Next meeting will tell whether China is committed towards disengagement or not
This will be the sixth round of corps commanders’ talks between the two sides
The next corps commanders’ meeting between India and China is crucial as it will show whether the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) is committed towards disengagement or not. India has reiterated that the status quo ante of April 2020 should be restored and the Chinese should withdraw their 50,000 odd troops which they have deployed near the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in Eastern Ladakh.
A report in Deccan Chronicle says that all diplomatic dialogue will mean nothing unless the Chinese military is ready to disengage on the ground. It quoted sources saying the corps commanders may meet this week but the dates haven’t been confirmed.
Last week, the foreign ministers of the two countries agreed on a five-point agenda during their meeting in Moscow. The report says that after drawing up the five-point understanding with all its diplomatic rhetoric, the ball is back in the military field.
Former Army Chief Gen. Ved Prakash Malik via a tweet on Saturday drew attention to how the disengagement and proper distancing was possible without a common reference point or mutually known LAC alignment. He believes that India must insist on the delineation of the LAC. “The Chinese use negotiations to gain time, strengthen positions on the ground and keep the adversary guessing about their real intentions. Troops need to remain fully alert, stand firm and not be lulled by diplomatic talks,” the report quoted him saying.
The last and fifth corps commanders meeting was last held on August 2 at Moldo. The report highlights that the Chinese had refused to go back from the Finger area in Pangong Tso, and it did not meet its earlier commitment to disengage in other standoff points, including Gogra Post. Notedly, the situation changed after August 29-30 when India occupied some strategic peaks in the Chushul sector which overlook the Chinese garrison in Moldo. The report says that Indian soldiers are now at several points which are higher than the Chinese positions on the ridgelines of Finger 4.