India, China to hold military-level talks today in Ladakh, to discuss Depsang situation

Senior commanders of Indian and Chinese armies are meeting in Daulat Beg Oldie in Eastern Ladakh at Line of Actual Control to discuss disengagement at the Depsang plains where mobilisation from both sides has escalated tensions.

Major General-level talks between Indian and Chinese armies is underway at Daulat Beg Oldie, sources said.

This comes after five rounds of meetings at the Corp Commander level – the highest military dialogue – since the standoff started in mid-May.

Major General Abhijit Bapat, General Officer Commanding of the 3 Mountain Division is heading the India delegation.

The main agenda of the talks is to address the situation at Depsang plains that has seen a big mobilisation. More than 15,000 Chinese troops opposite Depsang.

Officials say the strategic importance of Depsang in the north of Ladakh is what makes the Chinese continuously create trouble here. There have been two serious standoffs here in 2013 and 2014.

India is also likely to raise to raise the issue of patrolling in its area that has been blocked.

The Chinese army has deployed tanks, artillery guns along with a heavy presence of troops opposite Depsang. A similar deployment has been done by the Indian army keeping the situation volatile.

A pullback in the area which is at 16,000 feet is likely to be the main focus of the discussions.

Till now in the military talks, the focus was on four friction points Patrol Points 14, 15 and 17A along with Pangong Lake. While there has been a stalemate at Pangong Lake as China has come up with new fortifications between Finger 5 and 8 of the lake, there has been considerable disengagement at other places.