I. The Big Story: The Sino-Indian Border Meeting
The top military and diplomatic officers met on Monday this week, almost two weeks after the two foreign ministers reached an agreement in Moscow to continue the dialogue and ease tensions along the Line of Actual Control (LAC). The meeting, which was held at Moldo – Chinese side near Chushul, went on until late at night. The Indian team was represented by XIV Corps Commander Lt General Harinder Singh, Lt General PGK Menon from Army headquarters, who will take charge of the Leh-based Corps in October 2020, and Naveen Srivastava, Joint Secretary (East Asia) in the Ministry of External Affairs. The Indo-Tibetan Border Police Inspector, General Deepam Seth, was also a part of the delegation. The Chinese side was led by Major General Liu Lin, Commander of the South Xinjiang Military Region. It was the sixth Corp Commander-level meeting; the fifth one was being held in the first week of August 2020.
The Indian media reports that the talks were positive; however, it’s too early to expect a breakthrough, dis-engagement and de-escalation. The meeting was followed by a joint statement on Tuesday. It stated that China and India have agreed to “stop sending more troops to the frontline” and “refrain from unilaterally changing the situation on the ground” while agreeing to hold more talks to resolve the stand-off. “They agreed to earnestly implement the important consensus reached by the leaders of the two countries, strengthen communication on the ground, avoid misunderstandings and misjudgements, stop sending more troops to the frontline, refrain from unilaterally changing the situation on the ground, and avoid taking any actions that may complicate the situation,” read the joint statement.