India-China Border Issue: Diplomats try to end deadlock over disengagement
The latest meeting comes after senior Indian and Chinese commanders failed to arrive at any consensus during their 13th round of military talks, held in October
Diplomats from India and China are holding their 23rd meeting of the working mechanism for consultation and coordination on India-China border affairs or WMCC in virtual format to break the deadlock over disengagement from Hot Springs and de-escalation from other friction points, including Depsang. The WMCC meeting, which is taking place about six months after the last dialogue, comes after the senior commanders of two neighbouring countries failed to arrive at any consensus during their 13th round of military talks, held in October this year.
In the previous meeting of the WMCC, the two sides had agreed to resolve the remaining issues along the Line of Actual Control in eastern Ladakh at the earliest, keeping in view the agreement reached between their respective foreign ministers in September 2020. They had also agreed to reach a mutually acceptable solution for complete disengagement from all friction points so as to ensure full restoration of peace and tranquillity to enable progress in the bilateral relations.
China has enhanced its troops and weapons deployments in considerable numbers across eastern Ladakh and from the northern front to the eastern sector. However, India has also matched the Chinese PLA deployment. Recently, in an effort to increase its operational capabilities along the LAC in eastern Ladakh, the Indian Army has pressed in K9-Vajra 155mm, 52 calibre tracked self-propelled howitzer in significant numbers. So far, the two militaries have disengaged from Pangong Tso and Gogra Heights. De-escalation of men and machines would be the further step in the restoration of the peace and tranquillity along the LAC.
In a major development, Chinese expert and 1990-batch IFS officer Pradeep Rawat is expected to take over the Indian envoy to China as the current ambassador, Vikram Misra will be arriving in New Delhi as secretary. Rawat is fluent in Mandarin Chinese and has spent the majority of his diplomatic career either in China or handling Beijing from the national capital New Delhi.