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India, China working to resolve standoff in Ladakh region

New Delhi: China has made a slight retreat at Galwan Valley, one of the flashpoints leading to standoff with India, in Ladakh region on Wednesday, sources said. In a bid to resolve the issue, the China’s People’s Liberation Army moved back two kilometers and Indian Army moved back by one kilometer.

However, at another flashpoint Pangong Tso (lake), troops from both sides are stationed and are camping over there. This would be the main focus of the meeting on June 6 between top military officers of India and China.

Sources said that the Chinese are camping permanently at Finger 4 that has been under Indian control. “This needs to be resolved on urgent note,” said a top Indian Army officer.

Further, Northern Army Commander Lieutenant General YK Joshi has reached Ladakh to review the ground situation and he is going to remain till Thursday.

In addition, India and China military representatives carried out talks to resolve the ongoing face off in Eastern Ladakh.

Division Commander Level Meeting was held between the Major General rank officers of the two sides on Tuesday afternoon to resolve the issue but in the end it remained “inconclusive”.

Another round of talks between Indian and Chinese military leaders will be held on June 6. Indian Army Chief MM Naravane is confident enough that the stand-off would be resolved at military level talks, sources said.

Indian Army and China’s PLA held several meetings to resolve the face off. However, no breakthrough has taken place.

In the meantime, China has sent a large number of troops to the Line of Actual Control as reinforcement. Seeing this, Indian Army has also deployed forces accordingly.

There are four places where there is an eyeball to eyeball situation since May 5 at Line of Actual Control. Both sides have deployed over 1,000 troops in eyeball to eyeball situations at all four places.

The trigger for the face-off was China’s stiff opposition to India laying a key road in the Finger area around the Pangong Tso (lake) besides construction of another road connecting the Darbuk-Shayok-Daulat Beg Oldie road in Galwan Valley.

Sources said that the current standoff in Ladakh is not the usual patrolling faceoff but part of the new combative strategy that was rolled out by China after Doklam.

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India International

India says no to Trump’s help on China standoff

New Delhi: India on Thursday said it is engaged with China at the diplomatic and military levels to end a border standoff involving thousands of troops even as it tacitly ruled out any possibility of US mediation to end the face-off.

Since tensions flared along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) after violent clashes involving hundreds of soldiers in Sikkim and Ladakh sectors early this month, both sides have deployed additional soldiers. India has said it will oppose any unilateral attempts to alter the status quo along the LAC.

Faced with questions on the standoff and whether India agreed with Chinese ambassador’s characterization of the situation as “stable and controllable”, external affairs ministry spokesperson Anurag Srivastava told a virtual news briefing that both sides are engaged at different levels to address tensions, but New Delhi will make no compromises on sovereignty and national security, reported Hindustan Times.

Asked about US President Donald Trump’s offer on Wednesday to mediate between India and China and whether New Delhi had sought such arbitration, Srivastava appeared to rule out any role for a third party by saying: “As I’ve told you, we are engaged with the Chinese side to peacefully resolve this issue.” He also reiterated India’s contention that its troops had not violated the LAC, a charge levelled by China.

Meanwhile, fears are rising of a US-China cold war amid Washington taking stands on Hong Kong, Taiwan, even Tibet.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo testified to Congress Wednesday that Hong Kong no longer enjoys a high degree of autonomy from China — a decision that could result in the loss of Hong Kong’s special trading status with the US and threaten its standing as an international financial hub.

Undeterred, China’s rubber-stamp parliament endorsed plans Thursday to impose a national security law on Hong Kong that critics say will destroy the city’s autonomy.

On its part,  China has said that the U.S. should “give up on its wishful thinking of changing China” and avoid bringing the two countries to a “new Cold War.”

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