India, China to initiate military talks to end Ladakh standoff

India, China to initiate military talks to end Ladakh standoff

In spite of several rounds of talks by military, diplomatic and political officials, including negotiations between the two countries’ foreign and defence ministers in Moscow this month, the border tensions have persisted.

The foreign ministers did not set any timeline for the disengagement of the tens of thousands of troops, backed by artilleries, tanks and fighter jets, that have been in the region since the standoff began in May.

Military experts have repeatedly warned that any mistake or miscalculation from either side can have disastrous consequences beyond the cold desert region of Ladakh.

Both India and China have provided little information, but media in the two countries have given extensive coverage to the escalating tensions, which have dramatically changed their bilateral relations.

The standoff in Ladakh escalated in June to the deadliest violence between the sides in decades — a clash on a high ridge between soldiers using clubs, stones and their fists. Twenty Indian soldiers were killed. China is believed to have also suffered casualties, but has not given any details.

After that clash, the two countries partially disengaged from the site in the Galwan Valley and at least two other places, but the crisis has continued in at least three other areas, including glacial Pangong Lake.

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