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India-China border standoff: After diplomatic negotiations, now army-level meet on Saturday

During Friday's talks, both the countries exchanged views on bilateral relations, COVID-19 situation, celebrations marking the 70th anniversary of China-India diplomatic ties.

Published: 06th June 2020 02:55 AM  |   Last Updated: 06th June 2020 10:29 AM   |  A+A-

In this September 14, 2018, photo, an Indian Army truck crosses Chang la pass near Pangong Lake in Ladakh region, India. Indian and Chinese soldiers are in a bitter standoff in the remote and picturesque Ladakh region, with the two countries amassing soldiers and machinery near the tense frontier. (Photo | AP)

By Express News Service

Indian and Chinese army corps commanders will meet at Maldo in Chushul sector of Ladakh for resolving the standoff at Finger 5 near Pangong Tso.

A day ahead of the talks, India and China agreed to handle their ‘differences’ through peaceful dialogue while respecting each other’s sensitivities and concerns during a video-conference exchange between Naveen Srivastava, Joint Secretary (East Asia), MEA, and Wu Jianghao, director-general in China’s foreign ministry.

During the talks, Wu and Srivastava exchanged views on bilateral relations, COVID-19 situation and anti-epidemic cooperation, celebrations marking the 70th anniversary of China-India diplomatic ties and multilateral cooperation, the Chinese Foreign Ministry said here in a press release.

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The press release said both the sides should implement the consensus reached between the leaderships of the two countries that the "two neighbours do not constitute a threat to each other and that each other is an opportunity for development and do not let differences turn into disputes," in a reference to decisions taken at the two informal summits between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping.

Both sides should enhance strategic mutual trust, deepen mutually beneficial cooperation, properly manage differences and promote the celebration of the 70th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties so as to ensure that the giant ship of China-India relations is moving in the right direction, the release said.

Who will attend the meeting?

India will be led by 14 Corps Commander Lt Gen Harinder Singh, Division Commander of the Area (Major General), Brigade Commander, a battallion commander, an interpreter and two more officers. The PLA is being represented by Major General Liu Lin, Commander, South Xinjiang Military region which is equivalent to a corps level formation.

What is the agenda?

The Indian side, as per sources, is demanding for status quo ante in Galwan Valley, Pangong Tso and Hot Spring sector, which means the People’s Liberation Army has to revert to same positions which it held before. The Chinese are objecting to the road made ahead of Finger 3 and also opposed the construction of an arterial link of the Darbuk-Shyok and DBO road with Galwan Valley.

When does Border Personnel Meetings take place?

There are two types of Border Personnel Meetings (BPMs) — Scheduled and Flag Meetings. Flag Meetings are convened when something has to be conveyed or to resolve an urgent matter like the current situation. The Scheduled Meetings take place four times a year, both sides hosting two each — India on August 15 and January 26) and China on May 1 and October 1.

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These meetings happen at Battalion Commander (Colonel) Level or the Brigade Commander (Brigadier) Level also referred as Delegation Level. In extreme cases, it goes to the Highest Level Military Commander (Major General).

Where do these BPMs happen?

After it began back in 1990, BPMs are held at five points along the LAC which is divided into three sectors — western, central and eastern sectors. Two BPM huts are in Ladakh at Daulat Beg Oldi and Spanggur Gap (Chusul) in Western Sector and three are in Nathu La, Bum La and Kibithoo.

What is the schedule and frequency of BPMs?

There are two types of BPMs – flag and ceremonial meetings. The Ceremonial BPMs are part of the Confidence Building Measures and happen four times a year, two meetings each on either side. With time, more steps have been taken to increase mutual trust. A volleyball match was played between the two sides for the first time on June 28, 2019 at Nathu La.

(With PTI Inputs)

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