I. The Big Story: China-India Border Dispute
India’s Defence Ministry’s year-end review claims that the Indian troops are well entrenched along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) to counter any Chinese actions, even though efforts are made to resolve the ongoing stand-off through talks. The report also claims that the Chinese attempt to change the status quo in more than one area on the LAC was responded with a firm and non-escalatory way by the Indian army. Notably, the report highlights the use of “unorthodox weapons” that the Chinese soldiers are armed with at the higher altitude along the LAC in eastern Ladakh. However, it’s not clear if the report refers to the “microwave weapons” or the spears and the nail-studded rods that the PLA used during the June 15 skirmish.
There’s no news on the 9th round of Corps Commander-level meeting between China and India. In his recent monthly press conference, the spokesperson of China’s Ministry of Defence said, “China is willing to maintain communication with India via military and diplomatic channels. We hope that India will work with China towards the same goal, implement the consensus reached at the Corps Commander Level Meetings, and take solid measures to further abate border areas’ tension. The two sides are holding consultations on the ninth round of Corps Commander Level Meeting.” The 8th round of the Corp Commander-level meeting was held in the first week of November 2020.