Indian Army Chief Reviews LAC Security as New Chinese Envoy Arrives

Indian Army Chief Gen Manoj Pande reviewed the security situation along the Line of Actual Control in eastern Ladakh, where Indian and Chinese troops have been in a standoff since 2020. China's new envoy to India, Xu Feihong, expressed optimism about resolving the issue through dialogue and mutual accommodation.

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Indian Army Chief Reviews LAC Security as New Chinese Envoy Arrives

Indian Army Chief Reviews LAC Security as New Chinese Envoy Arrives

On May 10, 2024, Indian Army Chief Gen Manoj Pande conducted a comprehensive review of the security situation along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in eastern Ladakh, where Indian and Chinese troops have been locked in a four-year military standoff. The review comes as China's newly appointed envoy to India, Xu Feihong, expressed optimism about resolving the current gridlock in bilateral relations between the two countries.

Why this matters: The ongoing military standoff between India and China has significant implications for regional peace and stability, and a resolution to the conflict could have a profound impact on trade and diplomatic relations between the two nations. A failure to resolve the issue could lead to further escalation and destabilization of the region.

During his visit to the headquarters of the Fire and Fury Corps in Leh, Gen Pande was briefed on the force's combat readiness and updated on the prevailing situation and ongoing operational preparedness by Commanders. He complimented the Officers and troops for their professionalism, unwavering commitment, and dedication to duty.

The Indian and Chinese militaries have been in a standoff since May 2020, with a full resolution of the border row yet to be achieved. Despite disengagement from several friction points, including the north and south banks of the Pangong lake and the Gogra area, the situation remains sensitive. India has consistently maintained that peace and tranquility along the LAC are key to normalizing overall ties with China.

In January, Gen Pande stated that the situation along the LAC in eastern Ladakh is "stable" but "sensitive" and that Indian troops are maintaining a "very high state" of operational preparedness. He also mentioned that both India and China continue to hold talks at military and diplomatic levels to return to the "status quo ante" that existed in mid-2020.

Xu Feihong, who arrived in India to fill the position that had been vacant for 18 months, expressed China's willingness to work with India to accommodate each other's concerns and find a mutually acceptable solution to specific issues through dialogue. "China is ready to work with India to accommodate each other's concerns, find a mutually acceptable solution to specific issues through dialogue at an early date and turn the page as soon as possible," Xu stated.

Quoting Chinese President Xi Jinping, Xu emphasized that "the Chinese side always believes that China-India ties should not be defined by any single issue or area; the boundary question is not the entirety of the relationship." The eastern Ladakh border standoff broke out on May 5, 2020, following a violent clash in the Pangong Tso (lake) area. Since then, the two sides have had 21 rounds of talks at the Corps Commander level to end the deadlock.

Xu Feihong, who has served as China's Ambassador to Afghanistan and Romania and has experience in Latin America, was named for the position in January this year but only recently took up the post. His arrival and remarks come at a crucial time as India and China work towards resolving the ongoing military standoff and normalizing bilateral relations. The outcome of these efforts will have significant implications for peace and stability in the region.