A day after the third flag meeting between Indian and Chinese military commanders failed to resolve the border standoff in Ladakhs Depsang plains,Army Chief General Bikram Singh briefed the Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) on the matter and shared details of Chinas demands.
The Army Chief made a detailed presentation to explain the standoff,and described the proceedings of the three flag meetings since April 15 when Chinese troops set
up a temporary camp 10 km as the crow flies inside the Indian side of the Line of Actual Control (LAC).
Sources said the Army Chief did not discuss military options at the meeting,which took stock of the security situation in the wake of the border faceoff.
Gen. Singh is believed to have told the CCS that while the incursion is a localised incident,efforts at the local level have failed to resolve the situation as the Chinese side is insistent on the dismantling of Indian infrastructure,including critical fortifications,as a precondition to the withdrawal of its troops.
The failure of the third flag meeting has raised concern that the standoff could even affect the scheduled visit of the new Chinese Premier Li Keqiang to India in late May. Much hope had been pinned on the meeting,which took place after several days of discussions through the joint mechanism on boundary issues that is led by MEAs joint secretary (East Asia). But China only reiterated its demand that India should stop building border infrastructure in Chumar,and raised the matter of India building airfields in Daulat Beg Oldie and Fukche.
The two sides also had a border personnel meeting on Wednesday in Chushul on the occasion of Labour Day. The meeting lasted over five hours and was attended by Brigadier-level officers from both sides,but given the failure of the flag meeting,the border situation,it is learnt,was not discussed.