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India and China establish 6th hotline between border commanders

(TibetanReview.net, Aug02’21) – As their military confrontation in eastern Ladakh border areas continue, India and China have on Aug 1 established a hotline between their ground commanders in Kongra La in north Sikkim and Khamba Dzong in occupied Tibet, according to Indian media reports Aug 2.

This is the sixth such hotline between the ground commanders along the 3,488-km Line of Actual Control. Now, there are two hotlines each in eastern Ladakh, Arunachal Pradesh and Sikkim, said the timesofindia.com Aug 2.

The development took place on the day China marked its 94th Army Day.

The new hotline was established to “further the spirit of trust and cordial relations” along the borders to coincide with the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Day, an Aug 1 statement from the Indian Army was quoted as saying.

“The armed forces of the two countries have well-established mechanisms for communication at the level of ground commanders. These hotlines in various sectors go a long way in enhancing the same and maintaining peace and tranquility at the borders,” the Indian Army was quoted as saying.

“The inauguration was stated to have been attended by ground commanders of the respective armies and a message of friendship and harmony was exchanged through the hotline,” it added.

The development came a day after the 12th round of corps commander-level talks, led by 14 Corps commander Lt-General P G K Menon and the South Xinjiang Military District chief Major General Liu Lin, on the occupied Tibet side at Chushul-Moldo border meeting point in eastern Ladakh on Jul 31, the reports said.

There have been no official words so far on the outcome of the nine-hour long dialogue. There were indications, however, that the two sides had inched closer to at least completing the stalled troop disengagement at patrolling points (PPs) 15, 17 and 17A in the Hot Springs-Gogra-Kongka La area in a phased manner, the report said.

There is, however, no resolution in sight over the `friction’ in the strategically-located Depsang Bulge area and Demchok in eastern Ladakh, the report added.

The report said China has, been dragging its feet over establishing a top-level hotline like the DGMO one between India and Pakistan. The top-level hotline was first proposed in the bilateral Border Defence Cooperation Agreement (BDCA) signed in 2013 and then agreed to during PM Narendra Modi’s visit to China in 2015.

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