India-China to discuss Gogra-Hot Springs disengagement, Depsang is a 2013 legacy

Although the dates of the agreed 12th round of India-China senior commanders dialogue will be fixed through military channels, the discussion will be only limited to disengagement and de-escalation of both the armies from general areas Gogra and Hot Springs with Depsang Bulge to be dealt by local commanders as it was a 2013 legacy issue.

According to South Block officials, the decision to discuss Hot Springs (patrolling 14) and Gogra (patrolling point 17A) was taken at the virtual meeting of Working Mechanism for Consultation and Coordination on India China border affairs on June 25.

The two friction points, which are near the Kugrang river and Chang Chemmo river respectively, were transgressed by the PLA on May 17-18, 2020 apart from north banks of Pangong Tso.

The 2013 friction point of Depsang Bulge, south of Daulet Beg Oldi, will not be taken up by the senior military commanders but dealt at the local commanders level. In April 2013, the PLA transgressed through the Raki and Jeevan nullah with the aim of blocking Indian Army from patrolling points 10 to 13 A within the bulge area.

While disengagement has taken place from north and south banks of Pangong Tso, de-escalation between the two armies is work in progress due to mutual mistrust and suspicion after the PLA 2020 transgressions.

The Indian Army and PLA Army both have three divisions of troops with support elements all along the 1597 kilometre Line of Actual Control (LAC) in East Ladakh with artillery, armour and rocket elements in addition. The Indian Army troops led by Lt General P G K Menon of 14 Corps are on constant vigil and are conducting patrols within limits defined by the Cabinet Secretary in 1976. There has been no accretion of troops from the Indian side since August 29-31, 2020 incident on south banks of Pangong Tso.

While the Army is monitoring the Chinese activity along the LAC, the Indian Navy is keeping a close watch on PLA warship from Gulf of Aden to Malacca Straits including south Indian Ocean. Apart from some research activity in deep south Indian Ocean which is being monitored, the Chinese ships are confined around Gulf of Aden or Makran Coast off Pakistan.

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