Home » India-China: Dispute over Gogra, Hot Springs, Depsang yet to resolved

India-China: Dispute over Gogra, Hot Springs, Depsang yet to resolved

Indian officials say India is ready to face aggression from China (File Photo: AFP)
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The increase in military equipment is one of the key issues that the Indian Army is focusing on in order to better prepare for the aggression in Ladakh

Ground Report | New Delhi: One year has passed since the clash between India and China in the Galwan Valley. Chinese troops are still in the area and there are no signs of an end to the stalemate. India is working to improve the military structure in the region to increase the number of troops. There are currently 50,000 to 60,000 troops in the area.

According to India Today, the roads are being improved for the rapid movement of the army. While the increase in military equipment is one of the key issues that the Indian Army is focusing on in order to better prepare for the aggression in Ladakh. Because no definitive solution to the problem is in sight. Officials say that if aggression is made by China and whenever it is done, India is ready to face it.

The dispute over Gogra, Hot Springs, and Depsang sites is yet to be resolved. Although tanks and armies on both sides have retreated and there is no face-to-face confrontation, the armies of the two countries are still present in eastern Ladakh.

It has been four months since Indian and Chinese troops withdrew from the area of ​​Lake Pengongsu, which stretches from Ladakh to western Tibet. Two months after talks between the two countries’ corps commanders failed to return troops to their former positions from other parts of eastern Ladakh, China has proposed talks at the divisional commanders’ level. 

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According to media reports, teams at the level of division commanders are led by officers of the rank of Major General. This conversation is different from the corps commander’s talks which involve more senior officers. The officer is a lieutenant general who heads the corps’ military formation.

The division commander-level talks are proposed at a time when the process of returning troops to their old positions is stalled. Talks between the two countries at the level of corps commanders on April 9 did not move forward.

It has been a year since the clash between Chinese and Indian armies in the Galwan River on June 15. Twenty Indian soldiers were killed in a clash with the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA). China, meanwhile, has admitted to delaying the deaths of four of its soldiers. A year after the bloody clash, a senior defense establishment official said China had told India that talks could be held at the divisional commander level to withdraw Chinese troops from the Hot Springs and Gogra outposts. On the other side of the Line of Control, there are small Chinese troops stationed in Indian territory.

A senior defense establishment official said India was considering China’s proposal. He said China had conveyed the proposal to India at various levels, including through talks on the hotline.

The senior military official did not rule out the possibility of future corps-commander-level talks between China and India. But he said that if the issue was resolved through talks between the division commanders, then the senior commanders would not need to meet. He explained that although no progress had been made since the withdrawal of the two countries’ troops in the Pangong Su area, China had not ruled out the withdrawal of troops from other disputed areas. However, China has not agreed to a repatriation plan.

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The senior military official did not mention whether the division-level talks would include the Depsang grounds, where China has blocked access to the traditional Indian military patrols at points 10, 11, 11A, 12, and 13. It may be recalled that recently Army Chief General MM Naravane had said that the talks would take time. He referred to the 1986 standoff between India and China over the Samdorung Valley, which took eight years to resolve.

There have been 11 rounds of talks between the Indian and Chinese corps commanders to end the stalemate in eastern Ladakh starting in 2020. In February, Indian and Chinese troops and armored forces withdrew from the Kailash Range, including the northern and southern shores of Lake Pangong. Immediately after the withdrawal process, military commanders met on February 20, but no agreement was reached on withdrawal from other areas of conflict.

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