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India tells China: Don't fly your combat jets close to Line of Actual Control

In the dialogue that took place at the Chushul-Moldo border point in eastern Ladakh, the Indian delegation strongly pressed for avoiding flying activities within 10 km of the LAC on both sides, the sources added.

India tells China: Don't fly your combat jets close to Line of Actual Control snt
New Delhi, First Published Aug 5, 2022, 10:18 PM IST

(Image Credit: Getty Images/For representation purpose)

India has firmly conveyed its concerns to China over certain instances of Chinese combat jets flying close to the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in eastern Ladakh, official sources said on Friday. They claimed that on August 2, the concerns were expressed at a special round of military negotiations.

The Indian delegation vigorously pushed for both sides to refrain from flying activities within 10 kilometres of the LAC during the discussion that took place at the Chushul-Moldo border crossing in eastern Ladakh, the sources said.

Also read: China's army is 'preparing for war!'

The Indian team, which included a senior Army official and an Air Commodore, stressed the importance of confidence-building measures in order to prevent any unfortunate incidents, according to the sources.

A senior representative of the People's Liberation Army (PLA) Air Force was also sent by the Chinese side. Over a month had passed since the Indian Air Force (IAF) had to scramble its fighters in response to Chinese combat aircraft flying dangerously near to the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in eastern Ladakh.

"The Indian team highlighted the need for having confidence-building measures and to have a better understanding between the two sides," said a source, adding it was conveyed that both sides should not fly within 10 km of the buffer zone from the LAC. 

In the final week of June, a Chinese J-11 fighter jet went dangerously near the Line of Actual Control in eastern Ladakh, prompting the IAF to start its own response.

There were earlier reports of events that were similar. According to the sources, both sides held conferences similar to the one on August 2 between ground commanders after the conflict in eastern Ladakh broke out in May 2020.

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They said that an IAF officer joined the talks for the first time in recent memory. At a number of flashpoints in eastern Ladakh, Indian and Chinese forces have been locked in a standoff for more than two years.

As a consequence of high-level military talks, the two parties conducted a disengagement procedure in many areas throughout the region. However, neither party has yet to achieve any success in resolving the conflict at the remaining places of contention.

The most recent round of discussions at the Corps Commander level took place last month, but no real progress was made. Ten days after Foreign Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar and Chinese colleague Wang Yi met in Bali, the 16th round of military negotiations was held.

Jaishankar discussed the urgency of finding a swift solution to the unresolved issues in eastern Ladakh with Wang during an hour-long conversation outside of a gathering of foreign ministers from the G20 countries.

The standoff at the eastern Ladakh border started on May 5, 2020, after a bloody altercation in the Pangong lake regions. Both sides swiftly sent in tens of thousands of soldiers as well as heavy equipment to progressively increase their deployment.

Also read: China's Xi Jinping meets PLA troops connected with Ladakh standoff during Xinjiang tour

The disengagement procedure between the two sides was finished last year on the north and south banks of the Pangong lake as well as in the Gogra region as a result of numerous military and diplomatic discussions. Currently, each side has between 50,000 and 60,000 soldiers deployed along the LAC in the sensitive area.

(With inputs from PTI)

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