There was no breakthrough yet again in defusing the over two-year-long troop confrontation in eastern Ladakh with China, despite the top-level military talks being held after a gap of four months and external affairs minister S Jaishankar meeting his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi a couple of times in the interim.
China did not agree to the Indian proposal to even complete the stalled troop disengagement at Patrolling Point-15 (PP-15) near the Kugrang Nallah in the Chang Chenmo sector during the 16th round of Corps commander-level talks that lasted over 12 hours on Sunday. “The People’s Liberation Army (PLA) submitted its own counter-proposal for PP-15, which will now have to be examined in detail,” a source said.
Consequently, the resolution of the much more intractable stand-offs at the Charding Ninglung Nallah (CNN) track junction at Demchok and the strategically-located Depsang Bulge area towards restoring the overall status quo as it existed in May 2020 is still nowhere on the horizon.
“There are just 40-50 soldiers from the two sides at the actual face-off site, though there are many more in the immediate depth areas,” a source said. Similarly, the pitching of additional Chinese tents on the Indian side near the Charding Ninglung Nallah (CNN) track junction at Demchok is not considered too intractable to resolve.
The big concern remains the major encroachment by the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) in the Depsang Bulge, a table-top plateau located at an altitude of 16,000feet towards the crucial Daulat Beg Oldie (DBO) and Karakoram Pass in the north.