02:44 GMT15 April 2021
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    Indian and Chinese troops clashed in a deadly skirmish in Ladakh on 15 June, leaving 20 Indian soldiers dead. There were Chinese casualties too, but no official figures have been released so far. New Delhi and Beijing have held rounds of talks at the level of military commanders and through diplomatic channels on the disengagement of troops.

    Chinese envoy to India Sun Weidong said the clash between Indian and Chinese troops on the border in Ladakh was an “unfortunate incident” and that bilateral ties between the countries, which have endured the test of time, should not be disturbed.

    Speaking at an China-India youth webinar, Weidong said, "Not long ago, an unfortunate incident happened in the border areas that neither China nor India would like to see. Now we are working to handle it properly."

    Weidong emphasised that China considers India to be its partner and asserted that its policy towards India has not changed at all.

    The remark comes despite Chinese troops refusing to vacate two flash-points in the Galwan Valley. India has also mounted an economic offensive to restrict the import of commodities from China as also imposed a ban on nearly 121 Chinese apps, citing security and data privacy issues.

    “We hope to put the boundary question at an appropriate place in bilateral relations, properly handle differences through dialogue and consultation, and push bilateral relations back on track at an early date,” the Chinese diplomat said. 

    Meanwhile, senior commander-level talks to carry out complete disengagement at the forward areas are underway. In the fifth round of Corps Commander level talks held recently, New Delhi maintained it wouldn't compromise on the nation's territorial integrity and insisted on maintaining the status quo in the region. Disengagement at Pangong Tso and Depsang in Ladakh continues to remain a bone of contention between India and China. 

    India’s Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) General Bipin Rawat recently said that the country was ready for a military option if talks with China on the Ladakh border issue fail.

    India and China have unresolved border disputes over Arunachal Pradesh in the northeast and in Ladakh. Both have been engaged in dialogues to resolve the issue, but so far there has been no success.

    The India-China border covers the 3,488 km-long Line of Actual Control (LAC), which is mainly a land border in most regions, but in Pangong Tso in Eastern Ladakh it passes through a lake. India controls the western portion of the 45-km long lake, while the rest is under Chinese control. Most of the clashes between the two countries have taken place in the Galwan Valley.


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