The news agency reported on Monday Reutersthat the last negotiations between the military envoys of the two countries have broken down. They blamed each other. “The Indian side continues to insist on unreasonable and unrealistic demands, which makes negotiations difficult,” he said. Reuters a Chinese military spokesperson from a Wechat account, a Chinese messaging service.
The Indian side, in turn, said in a statement: “During the meeting, India made constructive suggestions to reasonably resolve the remaining territorial issues. However, the Chinese side disagreed and also could not make any forward-looking suggestions”.
A number of commanders from the two forces had met in the village of Moldo, on the Chinese side of the Line of Actual Control (ALC), the region’s unofficial border. It was the 13th such meeting and the first after a two-month break in talks. In June 2020, around 40 Chinese soldiers and 30 Indian soldiers were killed in action. It was not a pitched battle, some of the soldiers fought their way out of the mountains with clubs and died.
The conflict broke out around the glacial lake Pangong Tso, located at 4270 meters. After these clashes, the two sides withdrew from the region in February this year.
China and Pakistan work together on Kashmir issue
Ladakh is at the top of northern India and is snow-capped half the year. In order to be able to reach it all year round, the Indian government is currently digging four tunnels, the first of which has already been completed. Ladakh not only borders China, but also Pakistan and the disputed region of Kashmir. Pakistan has claims on them and more recently there has been unrest there too. Two years ago, Delhi stripped predominantly Muslim Kashmir of its special status and declared a state of emergency. Beijing and Islamabad are working together against Delhi on the Kashmir issue. The situation is geographically difficult to define and politically even more complex.
After the Communists came to power in China in the 1950s, the new rulers abolished the many borders that British colonizers had drawn in the region over the previous two centuries. It was only after the occupation of Tibet by China that direct conflicts with India could break out. The last time there was a border war was in 1962, but the world has changed since then.
Today, China wants to demonstrate its status as a world power, and rising India is trying to counter this with the help of the United States. Both countries have nuclear weapons. The Indian side is now accusing China of expanding into the region, setting up checkpoints and moving the ALC into Indian territory. Beijing, in turn, has accused Delhi of doing the exact same thing. The demand of the Indians during the first round of negotiations in May 2020 was to restore the situation in April 2020.
But although the two sides are in talks, more war material and larger troops are being moved to the disputed areas. Satellite images broadcast on Chinese state television and Indian channels show Chinese light tanks on a training mission in the Karakorum mountains at minus ten degrees Celsius. K2 is the most famous mountain in this chain, which rises to over 8,000 meters and stretches from Pakistan to India and China.
The Chinese military is probably keen to test the combat capability of the equipment at high altitudes. “The exercise highlights the importance of the usability of the material in extremely cold weather,” quotes the South China Morning Post of a military report. After the failure of the negotiations, the two parties are preparing for a harsh winter.
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