I. The Big Story: Partial Disengagement on the Sino-Indian Border
The past week has been hectic for both China and India as the two sides held talks between the senior military commanders for easing the tensions along the border. The Indian side was represented by Lt. Gen Harinder Singh, Commander of Leh-based 14 Corps while Maj. Gen Liu Lin, Commander of the South Xinjiang Military Region, represented China. The talks were held at Moldo point opposite Chushul in eastern Ladakh and went for several hours after starting at 11.30 am on Saturday, June 6, 2020. Earlier on Friday, June 5, 2020, the joint-secretary level diplomatic talks between the two countries were also held through video conferencing.
Suhasini Haider and Dinakar Peri report that the military-level talks were inconclusive. India conveyed its message to China demanding the restoration of the status quo along the border as existed in April 2020. “While India was firm on restoring the status quo of April 2020 and demanded the pull-back of Chinese troops and equipment from inside India territory and along the LAC, the Chinese side raised objections to India’s infrastructure development,” they report. India conveyed that the infrastructure development will go on, and China has already developed infrastructure on its side. The Indian military also asked the PLA to demolish several structures built in the disputed areas along the LAC, stressing more on the Finger 4 to Finger 8 area at Pangong Tso. Manu Pubby reports that India has four hardline demands:
– Withdrawal of Chinese troops from the Indian territory
– Pull-back of forward-deployed PLA forces
– Uninterrupted border work at Galwan
– Assurance of no more violence