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India-China stand off: No breakthrough as yet, ground situation remains unchanged

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New Delhi, July 23: Tensions remain between India and China along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) as a breakthrough is yet to be reached, both at the military as well as diplomatic levels.

The last time the military commanders of both sides held talks was on July 14. With both armies amassing 1,00,000 soldiers in the forward and depth areas, the ground situation remains unchanged.

India-China stand off: No breakthrough as yet, ground situation remains unchanged

Sources tell OneIndia that there is no date which has been fixed for the next military commander level talks. There is complete disengagement only in two of the four friction points. The troops from both sides have stepped back at PP 14 and PP15. However, at the PP17A there are still 50 troops on each side, less than a kilometre away from each other.

The understanding reached by the military commanders states that no side is allowed to patrol the four friction points. In the Depsang Plains China has blocked Indian access to the traditional patrolling limit in the area. At Pangong Tso although the Chinese have stepped back at Finger 5, they continue to occupy the Finger 4 Ridgeline.

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The next military commander level talks between India and China will take place only after some movement on the ground is visible.

India wants China to create a buffer and has noted that at PP-17 (Gogra), the gap between the two armies is incomplete. It has been reported that the gap is narrower than the ideal 1.5 kilometres on each side.

Further there has not been much change at Finger 4 on the north bank of Pangong Tso and the PLA continues to sit on the Ridgeline of a mountain spur. Now a fresh physical verification of the buffer zone will be made as the previous one showed a partial pull back by China. This was unlike what was agreed at the meetings of the top military commanders. It had been decided that both sides had to move back 1.5 kilometres on each side of the approximate Line of Actual Control. However the same has not happened.

The source cited above said that if the talks were to progress then China would need to completely adhere to the agreement on creating a buffer zone.

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    India wants the PLA to move back till Finger 8. India was patrolling till Finger 8, but the Chinese are not allowing patrols to pass now. These have been sticking points and unless resolved, the talks would not move further at least for the time being.

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