I. Sino-Indian Border Dispute: Military Talks Hit Roadblock
The fifth round of Corp Commander-level talks between India and the People’s Republic of China (PRC), which began this Sunday, ended in a stalemate. The meeting, which took place on the Chinese side of Chushul-Moldo Border, continued until the late evening. The Pangong Tso, where the Chinese have come 8 km inside the Indian territory, was the central focus of the recent meeting. Both sides have principally agreed on the need to de-escalate the situation. But the talks for disengagement have temporarily hit a roadblock.
What’s the Roadblock?
In the case of Pangong Tso, the Chinese have been firm in their assertion that they are on their territory, and have cited a road constructed by them during the 1999 Kargil Battle to stake a claim. The road extends till Finger 4. India’s conception of the Line of Actual Control (LAC) is at Finger 8, but the Chinese have, over the past many years, stopped Indians from moving beyond Finger 5. Although the Chinese have stepped back from Finger 4 to Finger 5 at the base area of the lake, they continue to hold the ridgeline area at Finger 4.
The recent round of talks also focused on the Patrolling Point 17 A at the Gogra post, where the Chinese continue to be deployed within a km’s distance. The Indian troops are also unable to access the patrolling points 10, 11, 11A, 12 and 13 at the approach road to the Depsang plains, where Chinese have blocked them at the bottleneck or Y-Junction. These points are around 30 km from the strategically important Daulat Beg Oldie post, close to the Karakoram Pass in the north.