NEW DELHI, December 30 (Reuters) – Talks between India and China have yet to progress to end a standoff over a controversial section of their Himalayan border, India’s defense minister said on Wednesday. as thousands of soldiers on both sides faced a freezing winter. in the mountains.
Defense Minister Rajnath Singh said there had been “no significant results” from several rounds of diplomatic and military talks aimed at defusing the worst border standoff between nuclear-weapon neighbors in decades.
“If the status quo continues, it is obvious that the deployment will not stop,” Singh said in an interview with Reuters partner ANI.
But, he said, the two sides were still exchanging messages about the border situation and another round of military talks was in the offing.
Tensions soared in June, after troops clashed in hand-to-hand combat in Ladakh’s Galwan Valley, bordering the Chinese-held Tibetan plateau.
Twenty Indian soldiers were killed, with China suffering an undisclosed death toll, and both sides have stepped up their military presence, moving men, weapons and supplies to the high-altitude desert region. in New Delhi, said last month that Indian and Chinese officials had held several talks to discuss ways to implement a phased withdrawal. it is expected that a positive outcome can be achieved through talks, ”Singh said.
India has positioned around 50,000 troops in the disputed area, some at altitudes over 15,000 feet (4,572 m), where scarcity of oxygen and freezing winter temperatures can be life threatening.
India and China share an unbounded 3,800 km long border, where their troops previously adhered to long-standing protocols to avoid the use of firearms at the border.
But tensions have erupted since the Galwan incident and the two servicemen, who waged a border war in 1962, accused each other of shooting in the air in September. (Written by Devjyot Ghoshal; Editing by Simon Cameron-Moore)