In a written statement by the Ministry of National Defence, the Chinese government announced a “synchronized” disengagement which was confirmed by an official word from the Indian side on Thursday. The statement stated that frontline troops from the Southern and Northern banks have started disengaging and that too the safeguards have been put in place to verify that the actions on the ground match the disengagement plan.
Strategic Planning Behind the Disengagement Agreement
In July there was some disengagement but the Chinese refused to complete the disengagement process and also both the countries brought in additional forces in the depth areas, deploying tanks and artillery. As per the plan, the pulling back of offensive armored units is the first step to restore peace along LAC. Also, the Finger 4 area of the lake would be a no patrol zone. China will go to Finger 8 and India will move to Finger 3 near Dhan Singh Thapa post and deployment from the South bank will also be withdrawn. The final step of the plan is to withdraw troops from the strategic heights in Chushul on the Southern Bank to build pressure on the PLA that was not budging from the northern bank.
Three Key Principles will Determine the Approach of the Talk
The Defence Minister listed the three key principles that India has maintained. Firstly, LAC should be accepted and respected by both sides. Secondly, all bilateral agreements should be fully adhered to by both parties and thirdly, neither side should attempt to alter the status quo unilaterally. However, bilateral relations can only be maintained by the efforts of both countries. And after the talks so far, China is also aware of the resolve to protect the sovereignty of the country as stated by Rajnath Singh in a recent report.
China’s Illicit Occupation of Land
Since 1962, China has been illegally occupying approximately 38,000 sq. km of land in Ladakh. Under the so-called Sino-Pakistan ‘Boundary Agreement’ of 1963, Pakistan illegally ceded 5,180 sq. km of the Indian territory in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir to China and from that time, more than 43,000 sq. km of the Indian territory is in China’s illegal occupation.
The Policy Times policy Suggestions
- The two main stumbling blocks which are the lack of trust and the mistiness of intent are the major hurdles of this disengagement. The Defence Minister must bring in some necessary ways so that these hurdles can be removed easily to make the disengagement plan successful.
- The Defence Minister must keep an eye on the movement of the troops and try to have more talks with the Chinese Ministry so that this time, India can maintain the peace and tranquility on LAC as any negative impact will adversely affect the bilateral ties.