India on Wednesday unequivocally asked China to “restore the status quote ante” of April 2020 on the LAC in Ladakh during the 14th round of Corps Commander level talks between Delhi and Beijing on 12 January.
“At the meeting, which lasted for around 13 hours, the Indian delegation in a very candid manner highlighted several activities along the LAC exposing PLA’s aggressive behaviour that is violative of bilateral agreements on maintaining peace and tranquility along LAC,” top diplomatic sources told The Daily Guardian.
“When asked to restore the status quote ante of April 2020, the Chinese side remained non-committal in what indicated that an early resolution to the impasse will be difficult to achieve,” sources said.
However, both countries will continue to hold military level dialogue so as to maintain the momentum the exercise has so far achieved, said a diplomat.
According to sources, Indian officials at the meeting confronted the PLA commander with “evidence highlighting how Chinese troops are engaged in illegal construction and other provocative activities along the LAC”.
The military commander leading the Chinese delegation was categorically asked to control PLA’s frontline troops from undertaking any provocative actions along the Line of Actual control (LAC), sources told The Daily Guardian.
The Chinese military commander was told that the PLA should not disregard the understanding reached between the foreign ministers of India and China, sources said.
They added that the PLA expressed reluctance when asked to disengage from Gogra-Hot Springs near Kongka La. “Patrolling rights issues in some regions along the LAC could not also be resolved during the talks,” sources said.
The talks took place at the Chushul-Moldo meeting point, on the Chinese side. The Indian side was represented by the new 14 Corps chief, Lieutenant General Anindya Sengupta.
Sources said that both sides will sit for further talks and a date will be worked out for the same soon.
“Though no positive outcome could be there after the 14th round of military dialogue, India will continue to put pressure on China to restore the April 2020 status quo ante along the LAC in Ladakh in further meetings,” an official told this newspaper.
Sources said that both countries have decided to “work towards mutually acceptable solutions” to resolving the present stand-off along the LAC in Ladakh. “The Indian Army raised the issue of the PLA building a bridge over Pangong Tso,” an official said.
India and China have been engaged in holding talks on the Line of Actual Control in the Eastern Ladakh area to resolve the standoff. So far, 13 rounds of talks have been held. The Indian side insists on resolution of the Hot Springs friction point which emerged after the Chinese aggression last year.