BENGALURU: The deadlock between India and China in eastern Ladakh continues, with the eighth round of talks between senior military commanders from both sides failing to achieve any breakthrough. The more than six-monthlong standoff between the two giant Asian neighbours “could be the new normal,” according to well-known author, historian and Tibetologist Claude Arpi. In an exclusive interview with The New Indian Express, Arpi said that he does not see any thawing of the deadlock “till at least the end of the winter, if not beyond that.
It may be a permanent (perhaps on a smaller scale). A new normal. It is difficult for Xi Jinping to publicly lose face and go back to the April position.” “The most pressing issue for India is to hold its position in Ladakh and not go for any type of compromise,” he added. Arpi warned about China’s hidden agenda behind the development of around 200 Xiaokangs (moderately well off villages), most of which are located all along the Indian border from Rutok in Ngari Prefecture in the West to Rima (opposite Kibithu) in the Lohit valley in the East.
“Since May this year, we have understood that China wants to stabilise and control its borders with India, to have a safe base for its military operations. The development of these strategic villages is a crucial way to govern the borders and has serious implications for India’s defence,” he pointed out. Arpi also spoke about the “definitive plans” of the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) on the “15th Dalai Lama to be re-born in China. “Beijing is planning to appropriate the reincarnation process,” he added.