(TibetanReview.net, Jan09’22) – With their last round of talks held in Oct 2021 having ended on an acrimonious note, India and China are to hold their 14th Corps Commander talks to resolve a 20-month standoff in eastern Ladakh on Jan 12. And the situation on the ground continues to be uncertain and “anything can happen,” reported the news18.com Jan 18, citing a top Indian government source.
Around 60,000 fully armed troops from each side are spending a second winter in the freezing heights of eastern Ladakh. A top Indian government source has said that while things had been stable for a while, “China cannot be trusted with anything”.
The source has also expressed little optimism from the upcoming talks, which will focus on the stalled disengagement process in Hot Springs, Depsang and Demchok.
The last talks ended with the Indian Army saying its “constructive suggestions” were not agreeable to the Chinese side, which also could not provide any “forward-looking” proposals. The Chinese called India’s demands “unreasonable” in their own press statement.
Both India and China have their own perceptions of the line of actual control, following the latter’s invasion and occupation of Tibet in the 1950’s. In 1954, the two countries signed their so-called Panchsheel Agreement, with India calling Tibet an “autonomous region of China”.
Now, while India accuses China of occupying areas in its Union Territory of Ladakh, the latter insists it is well within its own territory. And India ‘s suggestion that the two sides restore the status quo ante before the Chinese incursion which had led to the current stalemate remains unacceptable to Beijing.