India, China blame each other for deadlock after border talks fail

New Delhi/Beijing, Oct 11 (EFE).- The much-hyped 13th round of border talks between India and China have ended without a breakthrough as the two sides Sunday blamed each other for the stalemate in the boundary dispute that pushed them to the brink of war last year.

While the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) said India “persisted in its unreasonable and unrealistic demands,” New Delhi blamed China for not providing and agreeing to any of its “forward-looking proposals.”

The two sides met on Sunday at the Moldo-Chushul border meeting point on the Chinese side in the Himalaya region of Ladakh, where thousands of soldiers of the two armies were locked in a deadly confrontation last year over a decades-old border dispute.

The negotiations focused on resolving the issues along the de facto border, called the Line of Actual Control, between the two nuclear powers.

Soldiers from both sides equipped with artillery at some sectors have returned to their original pickets after a massive military buildup last year.

The earlier breakthrough came during the 12th round of military talks on July 31, when the two sides agreed to withdraw troops from a contested Himalayan border sector in Ladakh.

But troops remain close to each other in other border locations in the hotly-contested desert region.

“Instead of misjudging the situation, the Indian side should cherish the hard-won situation in China-India border areas,” Western Theater Command spokesperson Senior Colonel Long Shaohua said in a statement.

The spokesperson said the Chinese side made “great efforts to promote the easing and cooling of the border situation.”

Long said India’s “unreasonable and unrealistic demands (…) added difficulties to the negotiations.”

The Indian defense ministry alleged that the situation along the de facto border was caused by “unilateral attempts of Chinese side to alter the status quo.”

“During the meeting, the Indian side made constructive suggestions for resolving the remaining areas but the Chinese side was not agreeable and also could not provide any forward-looking proposals,” the ministry said in a statement.

“The meeting thus did not result in resolution of the remaining areas.”

The statement said the two sides have agreed to maintain communications.

India and China share a 3,500-km (2,175-mile) border that stretches from the Ladakh region in the north to Sikkim in India’s northeast.

Border tensions flared up in May last year, with the two armies accusing each other of provocative trespassing on the disputed boundary line.

Both sides rushed tens of thousands of troops along with artillery, tanks, and fighter jets near the frontier in Ladakh.

Tension spiked further near the disputed boundary after 20 Indian soldiers died in a physical brawl with their Chinese counterparts in June 2020.

The Chinese military said four of its soldiers lost their lives, and one was injured. EFE


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