A year after the Galwan valley clash in eastern Ladakh, China is still sitting at the Line of Actual Control (LAC) while India has geared up for a long grind.
Indian and Chinese military delegates have had 11 rounds of talks to resolve the border disputes at the friction points. The only thing that has happened is that both the countries have agreed to resolve the dispute peacefully.
The Indian Army has focused on being better prepared to face Chinese belligerence in Ladakh over the last year, as a final resolution seems far off. India has enhanced military infrastructure, increased troop deployment to 50-60,000 troops, and constructed better roads to improve connectivity for quick force mobilisation. The force continues to be on high alert with its enhanced troop deployment of over 50,000 men on the ground in Ladakh for the last year, including during the harsh winter when the temperature dips to -40°C.
Last month, Indian Army chief General MM Naravane said the troops are on high alert along the LAC, keeping a watch on the activities of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army. India wants the status quo ante of April 2020 to be restored. He stated India has made it clear to China de-escalation will only be considered once disengagement is done to the mutual satisfaction of both sides.
He said Indian troops are on high alert and deployments have not thinned after the disengagement in Pangong river. The Army chief maintained China has deployed 50-60,000 troops in eastern Ladakh in immediate depth so India has made mirror deployment in depth. Even after 11 rounds of military talks at the Corps Commander level to find a resolution, there is still no breakthrough despite the disengagement in Pangong.
Indian and Chinese forces have met to resolve the border disputes at the other friction areas like Hot Springs, Gogra and the 900 sqkm Depsang plains. Naravane said Indian is currently concentrating on resolving the outstanding problems at other friction points like Hot Springs, Gogra and Depsang. He stated trust levels between the two countries are low, but pointed out the trust deficit should not hinder the negotiation process.
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