India-China standoff LIVE: Armies of India and China to hold Corps Commander-level talks at Moldo

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New Delhi, Aug 01: China has mobilised a battalion strength of People’s Liberation Army soldiers near Uttarakhand’s Lipulekh Pass, one of the locations along the Line of Actual Control that have witnessed movement of Chinese troops over the last few weeks outside of the Ladakh sector, according to reports.

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Armies of India and China to hold Corps Commander-level talks at Moldo on the Chinese side of Line of Actual Control today. In the meeting scheduled to start at 11am today, India side will focus on complete disengagement by China in the Finger area: Indian Army Sources

Canada: An anti-China protest was organized by Canada-Hong Kong Link, Bangladesh Minority Rights Alliance, Indian, Tibetan, Vietnamese and Taiwanese diaspora in Toronto on August 1.

“Bangladesh was fully briefed (about the India-China border tensions). They even conveyed in confidence that they are with us on this issue,” the official told The Print.

Dhaka was “fully briefed” about the India-China tensions in Ladakh, a top Indian official exclusively told ThePrint a day after Bangladesh Foreign Minister A.K. Abdul Momen said New Delhi had not sent them any verbal notes on the Galwan Valley clash.

China has mobilised a battalion strength of People’s Liberation Army soldiers near Uttarakhand’s Lipulekh Pass, one of the locations along the Line of Actual Control that have witnessed movement of Chinese troops over the last few weeks outside of the Ladakh sector, according toreports.

They said the armies of the two countries are now expected to hold the next round of Corps commander-level talks next week to thrash out modalities to take forward the disengagement process from the Finger points at Pangong Tso.

Sources said the government has set the ball rolling in procurement of high-altitude clothing and other required equipment for its soldiers posted in the region.

“We are preparing to maintain the current strength. That is the plan as of now based on the assessment of the current scenario,” said a source.

Government sources said maintaining the current level of troops and weaponry in the high-altitude region will require extensive preparations as the temperature drops beyond minus 20 degrees Celsius in the region in peak winter months.

They said the top military and strategic brass reviewed the overall situation along the LAC in eastern Ladakh and elsewhere on Saturday, adding Army chief Gen MM Naravane has been regularly updating Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on matters relating to operational preparedness.

The Indian Army is making elaborate preparations for the long haul in eastern Ladakh even as it awaits confirmation from the Chinese military for the fifth round of military talks which was earlier expected to take place this week, they said.

They said the Indian Air Force(IAF) will also remain on high alert in the forward air bases along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) while the Navy will maintain its aggressive deployment in the Indian Ocean Region(IOR) to keep up pressure on China.

The Indian Army is preparing to maintain its current strength of troops, tanks and other weaponry in all key areas in eastern Ladakh in the harsh winter months as a resolution to the border row with China in the mountainous region shows no signs of early resolution, people familiar with the developments said on Saturday.

Chinese has been given a miss in the list of foreign languages offered to students at the secondary school level in the National Education Policy (NEP), which was launched earlier this week.

Although the PLA has disengaged from patrolling points 14 (Galwan), 15-16 (Hot Springs), a smattering of adversary troops are still on forward location at patrolling point 17 A (Gogra) and withdrawal from all contested finger features is a distance away at the Pangong Tso.

“After the PLA aggression, we don’t trust the Chinese and fear that they will come back again north of Pangong Tso as summer arrives in 2021,” said a military commander.

Underscoring that this could be the only way for now to make Indian territory off-limits for an expansionist China and hold peace on the border.

“It looks unlikely that we would not be able to take our eyes off the border,” said an army commander.

If it still falls short, the plan B is to divert stocks from locations such as Thoise, the base station for soldiers deployed in Siachen Glacier.

The government has already sounded out its embassies in US, Russia and Europe to locate manufacturers of high-altitude clothing and snow tent manufacturers for emergency purchases.

In Ladakh and elsewhere, the troop movements and the mistrust has led the army to prepare to station soldiers in the icy heights of Ladakh through the winter irrespective of how the disengagement and de-escalation efforts pan out.

“It is a signal that the Chinese troops are prepared,” a second army officer said. He added that India has matched the strength of the PLA troops and is keeping a close watch on Nepal in context of its recent border claims.

At Lipulekh Pass, PLA has moved a battalion – approximately a 1,000 soldiers – at some distance from the border.

Kathmandu escalated tensions with India this year after it changed its political map to count the Kalapani area including Lipulekh – which lies close to the tri-junction of India-China-Nepal – as its own.

The Lipulekh Pass is also used for annual barter trade during June-October between tribal populations living on either side of the Indo-China LAC.

Lipulekh Pass, which falls on the Mansarovar Yatra route, has been in the headlines for the last few months after Nepal objected to a 80-km road built by India to the Himalayan pass.

Chinese troops have augmented its presence on its side of the LAC elsewhere too.

Simultaneously, Indian military officers in Ladakh noticed a huge effort by Chinese troops to bolster its strength in the depth areas, and give infrastructure projects on its side a hard push.

There has been thinning of troops at the standoff points but the disengagement is still work in progress.

Three weeks later, both sides agreed to start the disengagement and de-escalation of troops at the standoff points after a conversation between National Security Adviser Ajit Doval and Foreign Minister Wang Yi.

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