India is awaiting China’s confirmation on the date for the eighth round of military-diplomatic talks on disintegration in eastern Ladakh. HT is revealed to have rejected the terms of the withdrawal of Chinese troops from Finger 4 by the People’s Liberation Army.
According to officials familiar with the idea in India’s national security establishment, the next round of talks will take place after the 5th plenary session of the 19th CPC Central Committee and the end of the US presidential elections of November 3.
India’s Defense Minister Rajnath Singh has made it clear on his part that the country is ready to continue the disintegration and de-escalation talks so that the two forces deployed from May 2020 can return to their barracks.
According to senior military commanders familiar with the discussion between the two sides, India has accepted the PLA’s stipulation that the Indian Army should only patrol Pangong Tso’s Finger 3.
It is unacceptable for the Chinese army to patrol Finger 5 only or else the controversial Finger 4 will become part of the authorized Aksai Chin. Essentially, the Chinese proposal meant that Finger 4 would be out of bounds for both armies, even though the Indian Army had previously patrolled Finger 8.
The Line of Actual Control or LAC through the 1959 line passes through Finger 4 of Pangong Tso Lake in the eyes of China. India has rejected it.
In the eyes of Indians, this line of LAC passes through Finger 8 of the saltwater lake. To complicate matters, the PLA has constructed a road from Finger 8 to Finger 4, while the Indian side is yet to connect the road to Finger 4.
While both the Indian and Chinese Army are at a height of 5800 meters on Finger 4, Beijing proposes that the Indian Army vacate the area completely.
The night of May 5-6, the PLA attacked Finger 4 using nail clubs and rods, threw an Indian Army officer into Pangong Tso Lake and confronted Indian soldiers.
India also rejected China’s proposal that the Indian Army first vacate the Rejang La-Rachin La Ridge-line on the south bank of Pengong Tso as part of the disintegration process.