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India-China Border Conflict: India Prepared to go to War says Army Chief

The 14th round of Corps Commander level talks between India and China took place at the Moldo border meeting point on the Chinese side of Chunsul on Thursday, 13 Jan '22. 

In contrast to the last meeting, both the nations agreed to “stay in close contact and maintain dialogue” to work out a “mutually acceptable resolution” of the remaining issues along the LAC.

There was no agreement to disengage in the 3 remaining areas of dispute, namely, Hot Springs, Demchok, and Depsang.

 India was represented by Lt. Gen. Anindya Sengupta, General Officer Commanding (GOC) of Leh-based 14 corps. The Chinese side was represented by Maj. Gen. Yang Lin, head of the People’s Liberation Army’s (PLA) South Xinjiang Military district (SXDM).

Takeaways from the meeting:

The countries agreed to “look for the resolution of the remaining issues at the earliest.” According to the press releases, both sides believe that this will “help in the restoration of peace and tranquility along the LAC in the western sector and enable the progress in bilateral relations.”

It was decided that it would be in the best interest of both the nations to “consolidate on previous outcomes and take effective efforts to maintain security and stability on the ground including during winters.” 

Previous meetings:

The 13th round of the corps commander-level meeting was held in October 2021. It resulted in a stalemate backed by both India and China. No joint statement was issued.

The Chinese side was represented by a stand-in, Maj. Gen. Zhao Zhidan while the Indian side was represented by Lt. Gen. Sengupta.

Both sides traded accusations in this meeting. India said that China had failed to offer any forward-looking suggestions. Whereas, China argues that India’s proposals were unrealistic and only benefitted them.

What next?

China has been aggressive in the past few weeks. Their government has issued new border laws and changed the names of 15 places in the Indian state of Arunachal Pradesh.

In addition to the above actions, the Chinese embassy has prevented the Indian MP’s from participating in Tibet.

In a virtual conference held on 13 Jan, the chief of the Indian army, Gen. M.N.Naravane said, “War is always a last resort but if required, India will come out victorious from the conflict.”

Considering the above statement and the takeaways from the Corps Commander talks, it can be observed that India wants there to be peace on its western border as well but is prepared to go to war, if it comes to that.

More than 15,000 Indian troops have been deployed on the north-western border in peak winters. This is a result of the constant conflict/threat posed by not only China but also Pakistan.

Post the conflict between India and China in the Leh sector, disengagement of troops has been seen on both sides of the border as a result of damage done on both sides. The threat is still high and India is prepared for the worst.

The next round of talks is scheduled to be “soon” to prevent any conflict and most likely, disengagement is expected to be seen in the Hot Springs sector while the Demchok and Depsang regions remain rigid.

To conclude, it can be deduced that India is on high alert, especially in the western sector owing to China and Pakistan. As history tells us, India does not initiate conflict but when it is challenged by one, it does not back down.
















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