The military talks between India and China at Chushul in eastern Ladakh to resolve the border dispute ended in a stalemate but both countries have agreed to continue the dialogue to push for a peaceful settlement, the MoD said on Sunday.
The Ministry of Defence (MoD) said in a statement that both countries agreed to continue the dialogue and communication through military and diplomatic channels and take forward the discussions, push for a settlement of other outstanding issues, so as to jointly maintain peace and tranquillity in the border areas.
The ministry pointed out that “the two sides had a candid, in-depth and constructive exchange of views on disengagement along the Line of Actual Control in the Western Sector of India-China border areas.”
The Ministry further said that both the countries also agreed to earnestly implement the important consensus reached by the leaders of the two countries, ensure their frontline troops exercised restraint and avoided misunderstanding and miscalculations.
“They also agreed to have another round of meeting soon,” the Ministry said.
Since the talks ended in a deadlock and no thining of troops will happen, soldiers of both the countries deployed in the area will remain exposed to minus 20 degrees Celsius temperatures.
The 8th Corps Commander-level talks between both the countries began at 9.30 am and ended at 7 pm on Friday. It was for the first time that Lieutenant General PGK Menon led the Indian military delegates.
Earlier, he had attended two such talks but the delegation was led by then Lieutenant General Harinder Singh, who was transferred last month to the Indian Military Academy (IMA) where he would be in charge of training the future generations of Army officers.
Ministry of External Affairs Joint Secretary Navin Srivastava was also part of the delegation.
While the talks were on, Chief of Defence Staff General Bipin Rawat on Friday claimed that the situation on the Line of Actual Control remains tense and a war with China cannot be ruled out.
He had said: “In the overall security calculus, border confrontations, transgressions, unprovoked tactical military actions spiralling into a larger conflict therefore cannot be discounted.”
General Rawat said that the situation along the Line of Actual Control in eastern Ladakh remained tense. But he pointed out that India’s posturing is unambiguous and “will not accept any shift in the Line of Actual Control”.
He also said that China’s People’s Liberation Army is facing unanticipated consequences for its misadventure in Ladakh because of the firm responses by Indian forces.
Both the countries’ military top commanders met seven times in a bid to resolve the six-month standoff. The seventh meeting took place on October 12 but that too ended in a deadlock.
On August 30, India had occupied critical mountain heights on the southern bank of the Pangong Lake like Rechin La, Rezang La, Mukpari, and Tabletop that were unmanned till now. India has also made some deployments near Blacktop. The movement was carried out after the Chinese tried to make a provocative military move.
Now, the dominance at these 13 peaks allows India to dominate Spangur Gap under the Chinese control and also the Moldo garrison on the Chinese side.
India and China are engaged in a seven-month-long standoff at the LAC. Despite several levels of dialogue, there has not been any breakthrough and the deadlock continues.