LAC: Foreign Minister S Jaishankar has known Chinese Foreign Minister Qin Gang during his tenure as Indian Ambassador to Beijing for the past 10 years, while Qin Gang first served as External Relations Officer and then Protocol Officer. Both had their first encounter and the focus was to retain peace and tranquility along the 3488 km Ladakh border.
The situation in East Ladakh is stable but can’t be assured of the same for long as both sides are ready and prepared along the LAC. While the pro-Qin minister, who is believed to have the ears of President Xi Jinping, is clearly hesitant about his new role as China’s foreign minister, EAM Jaishankar argues that the current relationship between the two countries is not normal and the past peace and tranquility should be regained. It was clear that it was detrimental to the agreement.
The two armies have been in standoff in East Ladakh with men who possess missiles and rockets since May 2020, when the PLA unilaterally attempted to alter the situation on the ground with breaches in northern Pangong Tso, Gogra-Hot Springs, Khugrang nullah and Galwan Valley, armor on both sides.
Potential explosive situations along the 1,597 km long Line of Actual Control (LAC) have been averted by both the sides creating buffer zones or not having patrolling areas at all points of friction, but then both the sides have not de-escalated forces for three continuous years.
In fact, the Indian Army strongly believed in the need to strengthen its deployment in the central and eastern regions of Central and South America as the People’s Liberation Army deployed additional troops ahead of the 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China in October of last year.
Some decline of PLA forces has been seen along the easternmost side of the border across Arunachal Pradesh, but these additional troops still need to be returned to their barracks.