After several rounds of discussion, both on the military and diplomatic level, there seems to be some positive development between China and India along the borders.
It has been six months since PLA troops came in 8 km west of the point which India says marks the Line of Actual Control on the north bank of Pangong Tso to trigger a military standoff in Ladakh.
Now, China has proposed moving its troops back to Finger 8, and return of troops by the two sides to their original locations on the south bank of the lake.
Their proposal also includes moving back tanks and artillery to the depth areas on either side. It will obliterate chances of any untoward incident in the region where there is already high tensions. For both the troops, battling the harsh Ladakh winter is a big problem.
According to a senior security establishment official, “There was a proposal from China that it is ready to move back to Finger 8 on the north bank of Pangong Tso. It also mentioned that Indian troops would be at the Dhan Singh Thapa Post, just west of Finger 3.”
As per sources close to the development, India is considering their offer, although there is no agreement on this proposal. India is considering the modalities for other friction areas that are still under discussion.
The two sides have deployed heavy army personnel and artillery due India’s insistence on status quo ante – of troops returning to their April locations – and China’s reluctance to disengage, especially on the Pangong north bank. There is currently deployment of thousands of troops, tanks, and artillery and air assets in the region by both the countries.
The Chinese proposed disengagement when Lt General P G K Menon, Commander of Leh-based XIV Corps, and Major General Liu Lin, Commander of South Xinjiang Military Region, met for one-on-one discussions during the eighth Corps Commander-level talks in Chushul on November 6.
All the previous seven rounds were futile when entire delegations held talks. But on November 6, the commanders also held one-on-one talks. But, there is no agreement yet on the Chinese proposal and the commanders are likely to meet again soon.