(TibetanReview.net, Dec30’20) – Amid report that the Chinese air force had carried out heavy deployment of missiles and radars in support of the aggression by their army along India’s eastern Ladakh sector, New Delhi is looking forward to the ninth meeting of senior military commanders of the two sides to be held soon to discuss the roadmap for disengagement and de-escalation of troops so as to restore peace and tranquility along the Line of Actual Control (LAC), reported the timesofindia.com Dec 29 and thestatesman.com Dec 30.
Although no date for the meeting appears to have been fixed, official sources said China appeared serious about the disengagement process at the last meeting of the Working Mechanism for Consultation and Coordination (WMCC) on border affairs between the two countries held on Dec 18, said the thestatesman.com report.
The report said the delay in scheduling the meeting of the senior commanders could be due to the fact that the reins of PLA’s Western Theatre Command, the largest of the five Theatre Commands which manages the border with India and the sensitive regions of Tibet and Xinjiang, were recently handed over to Gen Zhang Xudong following the retirement of his predecessor.
Gen Zhang was stated to be currently occupied with military familiarisation and troop deployments on the Indian border since he had never served in the area in the past.
The report noted that all previous eight rounds of talks between the top military commanders had been long-drawn affairs, given the complex issues involved in the border stand-off that began in April-May.
Meanwhile, India’s Defence Minister Rajnath Singh has said Dec 25 that no “meaningful solution” had emerged from the diplomatic and military level talks with China to resolve the standoff in Ladakh, noted the ndtv.com Dec 30.
He has therefore ruled out any reduction of troops in the area near the LAC, he said, adding that India will not “spare anyone causing trouble on borders”.
The report noted that India was pressing for total disengagement, de-escalation and restoration of status quo ante in all areas of eastern Ladakh prior to April, but a resolution could not be reached.
China, on the other hand, was believed to be seeking to redefine the LAC based on its recent territorial incursions and gains.
The minister had said military level talks could take place anytime.
Meanwhile Air Chief Marshal RKS Bhadauria has said India had taken all the required actions to handle the situation arising from the Chinese air force’s heavy deployment of missiles and radars in support of the aggression by their army along the eastern Ladakh sector.
“China has deployed heavily along the LAC in support of their army. They have a large presence of radars, surface to air missiles and surface to surface missiles. Their deployment has been strong,” he has said, addressing a webinar on ‘National Security Challenges and Air Power’ organised by Vivekanand International Foundation.
The Chinese deployment were also stated to include indigenous fighter jets that included J-20 and J-10, along with the Russian-origin SU-30, close to Indian territory in occupied Tibet.