India is waiting for confirmation from Beijing for a date for the next round of diplomatic and military level discussion on disengagement in East Ladakh. It will be the eight-round of bilateral discussion between China and India to diffuse the border situation in Ladakh.
However, India has spurned the conditions posed by the People’s Liberation Army for the withdrawal of Chinese troops from the Finger 4 mountainous spur on the north banks of Pangong Tso.
According to people closer to official sources, the next round of discussion will be held after the end of the 5th Plenary Session of the 19th CPC Central Committee meeting and the November 3 US Presidential elections.
Rajnath Singh, India’s defence minister has iterated that the country is ready to continue with the disengagement and de-escalation dialogue so that both armies, deployed since May 2020, can return to their barracks.
According to senior military commanders familiar with the discussions between the two sides, India has rejected PLA’s condition as it is unacceptable. PLA wants the Indian Army should only patrol till Finger 3 of Pangong Tso, with the Chinese army only patrolling till Finger 5. This would mean the contentious Finger 4 will become part of occupied Aksai Chin.
In gist, the Chinese proposal means that Finger 4 will become out of bounds for both armies even though the Indian Army used to (or at least try to) patrol till Finger 8 in the past.
The Chinese perception of the line of actual control or LAC, by a 1959 line, runs through Finger 4 of the Pangong Tso Lake, a concept India vehemently rejects.
New Delhi has also negated Beijing’s proposal that the Indian Army vacates the Rezang La -Rechin La ridge-line on the south bank of the Pangong Tso first as part of the disengagement process.
The border imbroglio between the two nations has been brewing since May this year.