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Thursday October 28, 2021

China, India talks to resolve border dispute fail

October 12, 2021
China, India talks to resolve border dispute fail

NEW DELHI: Talks between Indian and Chinese army commanders to disengage troops from key friction areas along their border have ended in a stalemate and failed to ease a 17-month standoff that has sometimes led to deadly clashes, the two sides said Monday.

The continuing standoff means the two nations will keep troops in the forward areas of Ladakh for a second consecutive winter in dangerously freezing temperatures, foreign media reported. The commanders from both armies met for the talks Sunday after a gap of two months at Moldo area of Ladakh in China.

Since February, both India and China have withdrawn troops from some faceoff sites on the northern and southern banks of Pangong Tso, Gogra and Galwan Valley, but they continue to maintain extra troops as part of a multi-tier deployment.

Troops have been added at Demchok and Depsang Plains, Indian media reports say. Sunday’s talks came amid frustration expressed by the Indian Army chief at what he called the massive deployment of troops and weaponry by the Chinese side. The Chinese statement from Senior Col Long Shaohua of the Western Theater Command said “China’s determination to safeguard its sovereignty is unwavering, and China hopes India will not misjudge the situation.”

Temperatures in the forward areas in Ladakh drop to 30 below zero Celsius (22 below zero Fahrenheit) around January. The troops from both sides used to retreat to their traditional summer holding positions around this time, but since the faceoff started in May 2020 have continued to remain close to the disputed border.