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India may hold another flag-meet with China to end deadlock over Ladakh incursion: Sources

CNN-IBN
Apr 24, 2013 at 02:53pm IST

New Delhi: There is no let up in tensions at the India-China border with China violating the Indian airspace and incursions into Ladakh. CNN-IBN has learnt from sources that the government is trying to hold another flag-meeting with China. Sources add that a possible date is under discussion, and the likely venue will be on the Chinese side in Spanggur Gap, Chushul.

The two previous flagged meetings between both sides have failed, but the Ministry of External Affairs is downplaying the incident, saying that they are clarifying the alignment of the Line of Actual Control and hope to resolve the issue peacefully.

"It's not good to question the progress in India-China relationship because of this incident. We are doing whatever is in the interest of our nation," External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid said.

'India may hold another flag-meet with China over Ladakh incursion'

India and China failed to break the deadlock over the deep incursion by Chinese troops at Daulat Beg Oldi sector in Ladakh at their second flag meeting.

The Chinese are objecting to the infrastructure build-up in Ladakh, especially roads and bridges. As India intensifies patrolling, China also wants that to stop before they move out.

Meanwhile, Defence Minister AK Antony said his government is taking all steps to protect the national interest. "Negotiations are going on at various levels to resolve the issue peacefully," Antony told reporters in New Delhi.

"Our government will take every step to protect the national integrity and security", he said, when asked about the issue.

However, India and China failed to break the deadlock over the deep incursion by Chinese troops at Daulat Beg Oldi(DBO) sector in Ladakh at their second flag meeting and more Indian soldiers may be deployed in the area.

The big question is in the event of a face-off, is India prepared? India has upgraded old airfields along the Line of Actual Control in eastern Ladakh. These are the airfields at Daulat Beg Oldi and further south at Fuk Che and Nyoma. All these airfields can take transport aircraft and helicopters.

There are 70,000 troops including artillery regiments deployed in Siachen and the Line of Actual Control in Ladakh. Also the Air Force deploys fighter jets in Srinagar and elsewhere in the valley.

But India's big failure is that there is virtually no road network or railways in the region. As compared to India, China deploys more than two lakh troops along its border with India in Ladakh. That includes mechanised infantry units, the artillery and tank formations .

China has reportedly built 14 major air bases in Tibet, 8 missile bases and 17 secret radar stations. It also has a highway network running all along the Line of Actual Control.

With Additional Inputs From PTI

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