The roadmap for the withdrawal of troops from both countries from Gogra and Hot Springs was finalized, but there was an impasse in negotiations over two areas of strategic importance – Depsang and Demchok. However, after this 10th round meeting, a joint statement issued by the military of the two countries termed the withdrawal of forces from the Pangong-Tso area a positive initiative and stated that this would lead to the Line of Actual Control in the western region ( LAC) has also laid a good foundation for addressing other issues.
The statement did not mention the names of Depsang and Demchok, but the western region refers to these two areas. In the 10th round of meetings, it was agreed to continue the mutual dialogue. The two countries also agreed to seek solutions to maintain control, peace, and stability in the situation.
Questions arising about the statement
Strategic and defense sector experts have raised questions about the 10th round of talks. According to defense expert Ajay Shukla, the joint statement is very simple. It does not contain details of the retreat phase of the western region. It was said that the removal from other areas could be finalized in the meeting, but it was not discussed.
According to Sushant Singh, a senior researcher at the Center for Policy Research, it would be wrong to assume the solution to all problems right now. India’s effort was to retain the position before April 2020, but this did not appear to be happening. Yes, peace is definitely visible. He says that the issue of Depsang is very difficult to solve, because India had only an edge over Pangong Tso, after the agreement, it is no longer there.
Now there are going to be a lot of problems for Depsang and Demchok. They say that the position of Depsang and the position of Pangong cannot be considered the same. The forces in the area of Pangong Lake were so close that a war-like situation could ever occur. But the forces in Depsang are not exactly facing to face. This is definitely required, you can come face to face in a short time.
In 1962, the Depsang plain was captured by Chinese troops. He retreated from there after several negotiations. But in 2013, Chinese troops came within 19 kilometers of it and uprooted India’s military camp. The Chinese Army has implicated about 1000 square kilometers of land in this area, showing the thumb of the agreements of 2002 and 2013.
Chinese troops and tanks are frozen in areas known as Bjl of Depsang Maidan. Bunkers and others have also been constructed. The Indian Army has not remained stable in its areas of strategic importance to Depsang for the past 15 years. China has deployed two brigades there, which has severed contact from the Indian Army’s patrol point 10 to 13. Depsang is important for India. To the east, there is the Karakoram Pass, 30 km from Daulat Beg Oldi Post. The area is 972 sq km.
How important demochok
Demchok village is very important in terms of China-India strategy bases. The Line of Actual Control (LAC) of India-China passes through this village. India runs in one part of the village and China in the other. China claims that this entire area is part of its Tibet. On the south-east side of the village is the Charging drain, which goes up to Lac.
Across the waterfall, barely a kilometer away, China is intruding. The name of this village there is Demkog. It is under the occupation of China. India says that the border extends at least four and a half kilometers south-east of Demchok. On the other hand, China says that the borderline has moved up to 16 kilometers northwest of Demchok.
In the negotiations that have taken place, both countries have expressed satisfaction in a way. The deadlock in the Pangong Tso area is resolved by negotiation. But we must not forget the talks of June 25, when the Chinese troops stayed back one-and-a-half kilometers from Galvan.
– Lieutenant General (Retired) Sanjay Kulkarni, Defense Specialist
China cannot be trusted. The initial steps that have been taken so far indicate that troops stationed at the height of the hills on the southern shore of Pangong Tso Lake, facing the Spangur Khad, have not been brought down.
– P. Stabdon, former diplomat and Indo-China affairs expert
Defense expert Lt Gen (retd) SS Panag says about the results of the 10th round of talks, ‘Overall, India has claimed China’s 1959 bid as the new LAC in the entire region except for the Demchok-Fukche region in the Indus Valley. But is accepted. Probably along the buffer zone and in the southern half of the Depsang Plain, the northern Pangong Tso, and other areas with diverse perceptions and without military deployment/patrol/infrastructure construction.
The 1959 bidding point is already well outlined and so are the buffer zones, which lie between it and the existing LAC. This agreement may lead China to abandon all other claims in the Central Region and Northeast with minor changes. Ironically, the final form of such an agreement may appear to be a mirror image of a proposal put forward by Chow Enlai in November 1959. ‘