Army,PLAMeetThatNev­erHap­pened

‘Ar­range­ments were made from our side (for Fri­day meet­ing), but Chi­nese didn’t show up’ Chi­nese Vice-Pre­mier in Pak­istan

The Economic Times - - Pure Politics - Shau­rya.Gu­rung1@ times­group.com

New Delhi: A cru­cial meet­ing be­tween the In­dian Army and Chi­nese PLA in Nathu La, which was sched­uled to take place on Fri­day to defuse the Dokalam stand­off, didn’t hap­pen.

A se­nior gov­ern­ment of­fi­cial said: “The ar­range­ments were made for the meet­ing from our side, but the Chi­nese­didn’tshowup.They(China) were un­de­cided on at­tend­ing it.”

ET had ear­lier re­ported that a high­level meet­ing be­tween the Ma­jor Gen­eral-level of­fi­cers of the In­dian ArmyandPLAwass­ched­uled­to­take place in Sikkim on Fri­day. Other me­dia re­ports claimed that it took place and the dis­cus­sions were in­con­clu­sive. How­ever, what has come to light is that the meet­ing never hap­pened. With this meet­ing, In­dia was aim­ing to en­sure peace along the Line of Ac­tual Con­trol (LAC).

Dur­ing the be­gin­ning of last week a flag meet­ing was held be­tween the Bri­gadier-level of­fi­cers of the two armies. In this meet­ing, In­dia told Chi­nan­ot­tochanges­ta­tusquoby­con­struct­ing road to­wards the Jam­pheri Ridge un­til the stand­off ends and the own­er­ship of Dokalam — a dis­puted ter­ri­tory be­tween China and Bhutan — is de­cided. China, in turn, told In­dia to with­draw troops. The mil­i­tary meet­ing is im­por­tant be­cause it is part of In­dia’s ef­forts to calm tem­pers and end the stand­off be­tween the In­dian and Chi­nese Vice-Pre­mier Wang Yang ar­rived here on Sun­day to take part in Pak­istan’s on Mon­day. “Spe­cial guest” Wang is ac­com­pa­nied by a high-level del­e­ga­tion. The visit comes on the “di­rec­tions of (Chi­nese) Pres­i­dent Xi Jin­ping as a spe­cial ges­ture”, as per Pak’s For­eign Of­fice.

Chi­nese troops.

In­dia is also in­ter­ested in know­ing whether China will send its rep­re­sen­ta­tive to at­tend the cer­e­mo­nial bor­der per­son­nel meet­ings (BPMs), which is to be held on Au­gust 15. BPMs are held ev­ery year at five lo­ca­tions along the 3,440-km-long LAC duringim­por­tan­tIn­di­anandChi­nese oc­ca­sions, such as In­de­pen­dence Day, Repub­lic Day and PLA Day (Au­gust 1). These lo­ca­tions are Daulat Beg Oldie and Chushul in Ladakh, Bum

LaandKibithuinArunachalPradesh and Nathu La in Sikkim. The meet­ings are aimed at en­sur­ing peace and har­mony be­tween the two armies.

The In­dian Army has sent its in­vite to the PLA for the Au­gust 15 meet­ing, ac­cord­ing to an­other gov­ern­ment of­fi­cial. If PLA at­tends the meet­ings, it would in­di­cate an im­prove­ment in ties. It is im­por­tant to note that PLA didn’t in­vite its In­dian coun­ter­parts for BPMs on Au­gust 1, even though such in­vites are sent ev­ery year.

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