With Chinese State Councillor and foreign minister Wang Yi confirming his arrival in Moscow on Wednesday evening, the bilateral meeting with Indian External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar to discuss ways and means to resolve the present Ladakh standoff is confirmed on September 10. The two leaders are meeting on the sidelines of Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) ministerial hosted by Russian Federation. The time of the meeting is being finalised.
While EAM Jaishankar will arrive in Moscow on Tuesday evening with desk officers of China division, Foreign minister Wang will reach the next day to discuss the border escalation in Ladakh. The much awaited meeting of foreign ministers is expected to record a forward movement towards complete disengagement and de-escalation of People’s Liberation Army (PLA) with the Indian side insistent upon China to follow bilateral agreements and protocols since 1993.
Although Indian Defence Minister Rajnath Singh met his Chinese counterpart Gen Wei Fenghe on the same platform on September 5, but the talks did not yield any result with both sides merely stating their formal positions. The meeting took place after Indian Army troops pre-empted a PLA aggression on south of Pangong Tso on August 29-30 and occupied the Rezang La ridgeline without either yielding to Chinese show of military strength or allowing them to cross the Indian perception of Line of Actual Control (LAC).
During the meeting, foreign minister Jaishankar will remind his Chinese counterpart to implement the past bilateral agreements in letter and spirit including keeping minimum forces along the 3488km LAC. He will also demand that PLA forces restore status quo ante at Gogra-Hot Springs, Finger 4 relief feature on the north bank of Pangong Tso.
Since the Indian pre-emption on August 29-30, the Xi Jinping regime has been asking the Indian Army to withdraw from their new positions south of Pangong Tso. It is understood that the Chinese Communist Government’s move to deflect domestic discontent by invoking nationalism in Ladakh and South China Sea has not worked. According to China watchers, the PLA aggression in Ladakh will continue till such time CCP General Secretary XI is able to control the internal dissent whether it be on count of language as in Inner Mongolia, floods, economy or coronavirus which initiated from Wuhan.