Home > News > China Study Group draws up plan for long haul ahead | India News

China Study Group draws up plan for long haul ahead | India News


NEW DELHI: The sixth round of top-level military talks between India and China in eastern Ladakh is now likely to take place within the next few days, even as the fast-approaching winter has begun to exact a toll among rival soldiers deployed in the high-altitude region.
The operational situation, the future strategy and the agenda for the military talks were discussed at a 90-minute meeting of the high-powered China Study Group (CSG) on Friday.
The meeting also discussed the different contingencies and preparations in the days ahead, with the Army gearing up for the long haul through a massive ‘advance winter stocking’ operation all along the frontier in eastern Ladakh.
The meeting was attended by defence minister Rajnath Singh, foreign minister S Jaishankar, national security advisor Ajit Doval, chief of defence staff General Bipin Rawat and Army chief General M M Naravane, among others.
“There has been some delay in the corps commander-level talks because China was not reverting with an exact date. But it will take place now. India will continue to press for disengagement from the friction points as the starting point, followed by de-escalation and de-induction of troops,” a senior official said.
“Our position is that People’s Liberation Army (PLA) has been the aggressor by initiating the face-offs. We just responded with the pre-emptive manoeuvre to occupy the heights on the southern bank of Pangong Tso-Chushul area on August 29-30,” he added.
The sixth round of talks between 14 Corps commander Lt-General Harinder Singh and South Xinjiang Military District chief Major General Liu Lin, who last met on August 2, will take place after four incidents where warning shots were exchanged in Pangong Tso-Chushul between August 29 and September 8.
Though neither side has undertaken any aggressive actions for the last 10 days, the harsh weather and oxygen deprivation at heights of over 15,000 feet in the area have begun to exact a toll.
With temperatures already dipping below zero, several Chinese soldiers have been evacuated on stretchers from the area since early this month. “The first evacuations in the PLA ranks were spotted on the south bank of Pangong Tso on September 1-2. Some more evacuations have followed in the ‘Finger’ area on the north bank,” another officer said.
“Our soldiers are better acclimatised and used to prolonged winter deployments. But they are not made of steel. We will also start suffering at some point,” he added.
Indian soldiers are taught to “survive first and then fight” in super high-altitude areas like the Siachen Glacier-Saltoro Ridge region. But high-altitude pulmonary odema, cerebral odema, hypothermia, hypoxia and frostbite can affect even the most battle-hardened of soldiers.

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