The seventh round of Sino-Indian talks at the level of military chiefs was held in Chushul on the 12th local time. According to an “Indian Express” report of the 13th, this round of talks was a long 11 hours of “marathon talks”, as before, from noon until midnight. Chinese Defense Ministry spokesman, Ren Guoqiang, said that the two sides had a candid, in-depth and constructive exchange of views focusing on the disengagement of the front-line forces of the two countries in the area along the Line of Actual Control in the Western section of the China-India border. Indian media quoted Indian Government sources as saying that the two sides may follow up by withdrawing some of their personnel from their current positions, especially soldiers stationed at the commanding heights “but only after the Chinese side does so will the Indian side consider taking corresponding action”.
According to Indian media, following participation by the Director General of the East Asia Department of the Indian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Srivastava in the sixth round of Military Commander-level talks on behalf of the diplomatic establishment, the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs also sent an official of the corresponding level to the meeting in this round. This was for the first time. In addition, the militaries of India and China both sent an additional senior official to participate in the talks. Ren Guoqiang said that the two sides believe that this round of talks was positive and constructive, which has enhanced mutual understanding of each other’s positions. The two sides agreed to continue to maintain dialogue and communication through military and diplomatic channels, and reach a mutually acceptable solution for disengagement at the earliest.
The WIRE News Network reported on the 13th that during the talks the Indian side continued to urge China to withdraw its troops from the friction points as soon as possible and restore the current situation to the state before the end of April. According to the report, both sides hope to maintain stability on the ground and avoid any actions that may further escalate tensions, but they are also prepared to continue the stand-off during the long winter. It is worth mentioning that after this round of talks, the Indian military negotiator will be replaced by Lieutenant General Menon who attended the sixth round of the China-India military-level talks. According to the “Huan Qiu Shi Bao” reporter, Menon previously served in the Sikh Regiment for quite some time and has experience of handling China-related affairs.
In addition, according to an exclusive report by Zee News TV on the 13th, the Indian military has formulated a plan called “BR”, “to deal with China and Pakistan”. In the so-called “BR”, “B” refers to the Bhishma tank, which is the T-90 main battle tank, and “R” refers to the Rafale fighter jet. According to the report, the Indian Army and Air Force are on full alert against the backdrop of the increasingly tense situation on the China-India border, and are capable of responding to “any threat” that China and Pakistan “provoke” in the border region. “If China and Pakistan carry out any unnecessary operations, India will teach them a lesson through the ‘BR program'”.
In addition, Indian Defense Minister Singh announced on the 12th that there will be a number of new bridges in the Sino-Indian border area, of which 8 will be in the “Union Territory of Ladakh” and 8 will be in “Arunachal Pradesh” (Southern Tibet). ). Many of the bridges are for enabling reaching the disputed areas along the China-India border in all weather conditions.
In response, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson, Zhao Lijian, responded at a regular press conference on the 13th that China does not recognize the so-called ” Union Territory of Ladakh” and “Arunachal Pradesh” illegally established by India, and is opposed to use of disputed border areas for the purpose of military control or infrastructure development. According to the understanding reached by the two sides, neither side should take any action in the border regions that can affect the efforts being made by both sides to de-escalate the situation. Zhao Ligong stressed that for some time, the Indian side has continued to strengthen infrastructure construction and increase troop deployment in the China-India border region, which is the root cause of tensions along the border.
At the same time, the U.S. is also pulling India in against China. According to the “Times of India”, U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Biegun who is visiting India said on the 12th, the United States hopes to establish a partnership and strengthen communication with India through the “Quadruple Security Dialogue”, emphasizing that conditions for establishment of a deeper level partnership between the US and India have been evident already (for a while). He said the United States and India had previously been “overly cautious” in their approach to China, describing China as “the elephant in the room”. The Indian media said, Biegun’s visit is aimed at preparing for the upcoming India-US “2+2” diplomatic and defense dialogue.