Official sources said on Friday that India has conveyed its concern to China over some incidents of Chinese fighter jets flying near the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in eastern Ladakh. He said these concerns were raised during a special round of military talks on August 2. In the interaction at the Chushul-Moldo border point in eastern Ladakh, the Indian delegation strongly pressed for the avoidance of flight activity within 10 km of the LAC on both sides, sources said.
The Indian team, comprising an Air Commodore and several senior military officers, highlighted the need to focus on confidence-building measures to avoid any untoward incident, sources said. The Chinese team also deployed a senior officer from the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Air Force. The special round of talks came a month after incidents of Chinese fighter jets flying near the LAC in eastern Ladakh prompted the Indian Air Force (IAF) to shoot down the planes.
“The Indian team highlighted the need for confidence-building measures and better understanding between the two sides,” a source said, adding that both sides should not fly within 10 km of the buffer zone from the LAC. In the last week of June, a Chinese J-11 fighter jet flew near the LAC in eastern Ladakh following which the IAF also launched countermeasures. Earlier there were reports of similar incidents.
Sources said the ground commanders from both sides held meetings on August 2 after the match began in eastern Ladakh in May 2020. He said it was the first time in recent times that an IAF officer had joined the discussion. Clashes between Indian and Chinese forces have been going on for two years at several points of friction in eastern Ladakh.
The two sides carried out a process of disengagement in several areas of the region as a result of high-level military talks. However, the two sides have yet to make any progress in ending the remaining friction points. The last round of talks at the corps commander level was held last month but failed to produce any concrete results. The 16th round of military talks took place 10 days after External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar met his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi in Bali.
In an hour-long meeting on the sidelines of the G20 foreign ministers’ conference, Jaishankar conveyed to Wang the need to resolve all pending issues in eastern Ladakh at the earliest. The outbreak followed a violent encounter in the Pangong Lake area on 5 May 2020 along the eastern Ladakh border. Both sides gradually increased their deployment with thousands of soldiers and heavy weapons.
As a result of a series of military and diplomatic talks, the two sides last year completed the disengagement process on the north and south shores of Pangong Lake and in the Gogra area. Each side currently has 50,000 to 60,000 troops on the LAC in sensitive sectors.
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