Ahead of talks with China over Ladakh standoff, India signals a realistic approach

Indian military officials will walk into a meeting on Saturday with their Chinese counterparts to attempt to resolve the month-long row over the Line of Actual Control with the knowledge that it may not be possible to achieve an immediate breakthrough to the Ladakh standoff, people familiar with the development told Hindustan Times.

Saturday’s meeting is the first high-level meeting between Lt General Harinder Singh, the general officer commanding of Leh-based 14 Corps, and his Chinese counterpart who heads the People’s Liberation Army’s Group Army since the May 5 scuffle between soldiers near Pangong lake and subsequent stand-off at Galwan riverulet.

The last round of talks between delegations led by two major general-rank officers of the two armies on June 2 had been inconclusive.

Officials, however, underline that it was a positive sign that both sides were talking to each other through established military and diplomatic channels. But the dialogue does not mean an immediate resolution. “This is the eventuality that we are prepared for,” one of them said.

India has already made it clear it wants the Chinese troops to move back and restore status quo ante on the four positions.

“We are not in a hurry… and I believe, neither is the Chinese side,” a government functionary told Hindustan Times signalling that the government had adopted a “realistic approach” to the standoff and the dialogue process .

An official said given the high stakes involved, he expected the Ladakh standoff to continue for longer than the 73-day Doklam standoff.

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