Beijing, Jul 19: China on Tuesday termed as “constructive and forward-looking” the 16th round of Sino-India talks to resolve the outstanding issues on the remaining friction points in the eastern Ladakh border and said a joint statement issued by both sides commented “positively” about the meeting.
The Indian delegation at the talks was led by Lt-Gen Anindya Sengupta, the commander of the Leh-based 14 Corps, while the Chinese team was headed by South Xinjiang Military District Chief Major General Yang Lin.
China-India Corps Commander Level Meeting was held in a “constructive and forward-looking manner”, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian told a media briefing here while replying to the question that there was no breakthrough at the talks.
“They had a candid and in-depth exchange of views…, in keeping with the guidance provided by the State Leaders to work for the resolution of the remaining issues at the earliest,” Zhao said.
The two sides agreed to maintain the security and stability on the ground in the Western Sector, he said, adding that the two sides also agreed to stay in close contact and maintain dialogue through military and diplomatic channels and work out a mutually acceptable resolution of the remaining issues at the earliest.
“A joint press release was issued by both sides which commented positively on the meeting,” he said.
About reports that India had lodged a protest over Chinese aircraft which flew close to contested border areas, he said I do not have information about the specific question you raised .
“I want to stress that China always conducts normal activities in the border areas in accordance with relevant agreements signed between China and India. In the meantime, we always ask the Indian side to abide by these agreements,” he said.
The state-run PLA Daily, the official newspaper of the Chinese military, reported on Monday actual combat-oriented aerial exercises by the Chinese Air Force at a high altitude on the northwest border in the first 10 days of July.
“The situation in the air is constantly changing. If you fail to lock down and launch an attack within a short ‘time window’, you may be shot down by your opponent at any time,” it quoted one pilot as saying.
It is understood that this method of warfare has been tried and proved many times in the past, but failed in the last exercise, the report said.
“The effectiveness of combat skills must be tested on the training ground,” it said.
Since he came to power in 2012, Chinese President Xi Jinping who also heads the military has been pressing the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) to carry out real combat exercises with troops designated as rival forces.
Also, the Hong Kong-based South China Morning Post reported on Tuesday that China’s military tested advanced rocket launch system at high altitude.
The PLA used the PCL191 multiple launch rocket system which is mounted on a truck to hit a target several kilometres away at a desert shooting range in the west of China during a recent test, the post quoted a state TV report.
The advanced, long-range rocket launch system made its public debut at China’s National Day parade in October 2019.
According to the Chinese military magazine Modern Ships, it can carry eight 370mm rockets each with a range of 350km or two 750mm Fire Dragon 480 tactical ballistic missiles each capable of flying up to 500km, the report said.
The 15th round of military dialogue took place on March 11 and it too failed to yield any significant outcome.
It is learnt that the Indian delegation also sought resolution of pending issues in Depsang Bulge and Demchok.
India has been consistently maintaining that peace and tranquillity along the LAC were key for the overall development of the bilateral ties.
The 16th round of military talks was held 10 days after External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar met his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi in Bali.
At the one-hour meeting on the sidelines of a conclave of foreign ministers of the G20 nations, Jaishankar conveyed to Wang the need for early resolution of all the outstanding issues in Eastern Ladakh.
The eastern Ladakh border standoff erupted on May 5, 2020, following a violent clash in the Pangong lake areas.
Both sides gradually enhanced their deployment by rushing in tens of thousands of soldiers as well as heavy weaponry.
As a result of a series of military and diplomatic talks, the two sides completed the disengagement process last year on the north and south banks of the Pangong lake and in the Gogra area.
Each side currently has around 50,000 to 60,000 troops along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in the sensitive sector.