High level talks are set to begin Saturday between general officers of the People’s Liberation Army and the Indian Army as the month-long standoff between India and China continues in eastern Ladakh. The Indian contingent will be led by Lieutenant General Harinder Singh, commander of the Leh-based 14 Corps. The Chinese representative will be the commander of the Tibet Military District Lieutenant General Xu Yong. The talks will be held at the Border Personnel Meeting Point at Maldo in Chushul sector of Eastern Ladakh at 8 AM Saturday.
Outside of India, and China there is growing optimism that the talks will pave the way to finding a solution to the standoff. However, the Indian and Chinese governments do not appear to be expecting firm resolution to come from the dialogue. After all, diplomatic discussions between Beijing and New Delhi have done nothing. Do not be misled by the statements being made recently by Indian and Chinese officials stressing the need for a peaceful resolution to the standoff, and their disappointment about how it has affected bilateral ties. China and India are rivals even if both sides are reluctant to admit it.
Both sides insist that until a permanent solution is found for the boundary issue, it is necessary to maintain peace around the border areas. Neither side wants war to emerge from the standoff in eastern Ladakh yet neither side has seen fit to budge from their present position. There has been aggressive military posturing by both sides in the region. India and China are both moving heavy equipment, and weaponry to their bases near the area, intent to be militarily prepared if the tense standoff transforms into an armed conflict at any given time.