Indian, Chinese troops hold border meeting over Ladakh scuffle

Official sources said the meeting is expected to deliberate on maintaining peace and tranquility along the Sino -India border in Ladakh.

Published: 16th August 2017 06:36 PM  |   Last Updated: 16th August 2017 07:58 PM   |  A+A-

Two-thirds of the Pangong Lake is controlled by China while one-third of it is controlled by India. (AP)

By Express News Service

NEW DELHI: A day after the Indian and Chinese soldiers involved in a brawl, when People Liberation Army troops tried to enter Indian territory along the Pangong Tso lake in Ladakh,  key military officials from both armies held a border meeting to discuss the issue.

According to sources, Border Personnel Meeting between officials of Indian and Chinese army held in Chushul sector of Eastern Ladakh on Wednesday afternoon, where Tuesday’s incident of clashes between soldiers from both sides were raised.

“Meeting between military officials from both armies was held in Chushul, where incidents, issues to ensure strengthening of existing mechanism for maintaining peace and tranquility were discussed,’ said a defence source. Though Army sources refused to divulge more details about the outcome of the meeting, but sources have indicated it went ‘inconclusive’.

On Tuesday, a joint patrol of ITBP and Indian army foiled a bid by a group of Chinese troops to enter Indian Territory in Ladakh, near the Pangong Lake. While resisting, some of the Chinese soldiers carried iron rods and stones, and troops on both sides suffered minor injuries in the melee. In fact, Chinese soldiers reported to have formed a human chain and then they began hurling stones at Indian patrol. During which at least five ITBP soldiers also sustained minor injuries. Sources claimed that Chinese troops had managed to enter up to Finger Four area in the region from where they were sent back. This area has been a bone of contention between India and China as both claim it to be a part of their territory. Two-thirds of the Pangong Lake is controlled by China while one-third of it is controlled by India.

But, in response to Tuesday’s incident, China’s Foreign Ministry on Wednesday urged India to protect the peace and stability of the border region.

According to Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying, “Chinese border forces have consistently and always dedicated themselves to protecting peace and tranquility on the China-India border region and we have always patrolled on the Chinese side of the line of control,” Hua told a daily news briefing. “We urge the Indian side to scrupulously abide by relevant agreements, protocols and rules between the two countries and earnestly respect the 1959 line of control and earnestly protect the peace and stability of the border region.” Tuesday’s incident comes against the backdrop of two month old standoff between Chinese and Indian soldiers, who have been engaged in a eyeball to eyeball situation since June 16th after Indian troops objected to road construction by Chinese soldiers in a strategically important Dokalam plateau close to Sikkim border.

Since then, over 300 soldiers from each sides are camping in the disputed site. And multiple efforts to break the ice have not yielded any positive outcome including National Security Adviser Ajit Doval's visit to Beijing last month.

Now all eyes are on Prime minister Narendra Modi's next month visit to China to take part in the BRICS summit where leaders from both sides are expected to resolve the issue.

In fact, due to ongoing faceoff, Chinese troops did not attend the ceremonial Border Personnel Meeting on the occasion of Indian’s Independence Day, shying away from nearly two decade old practice. There are five BPM points at Bum La and Kibithu in Arunachal Pradesh, Daulat Beg Oldi and Chushul in Ladakh and Nathu La in Sikkim.

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