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