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NEW DELHI: India has refused to consider any de-escalation in Ladakh until the disengagement process — withdrawal of Chinese intrusions — is complete as Indian negotiators push back against repeated demands to move troops back from forward areas.
In the last meeting between military commanders and at the working group too, China demanded that India draw down its forces. The Chinese negotiators have complained about Indian aircraft and road building, but refuse to respond when Indians point out they have been building infrastructure for years.
India is showing no urgency in de-escalation. Pangong Tso being the biggest source of contention, India is insisting that China move back to its old position on Finger 8 spur. India has also refused the Chinese demand that its troops move back behind the Dhyan Singh Thapa post.
As reported by TOI, both sides are digging in for the winter. India has mounted a massive logistics and stocking exercise, mirroring its actions in Siachen every year. This might indicate that even if there is disengagement, de-escalation is not very likely.
China wants India to box the boundary dispute and get on with bilateral ties. Responding to questions about foreign minister S Jaishankar’s interview to TOI on Sunday, the Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson said, “The two should… make sure differences do not escalate into disputes. I hope India will work with us in the same direction and safeguard overall interests of bilateral relations with concrete actions.”
That is no longer acceptable to India. In his interview to TOI, Jaishankar was clear, “The state of the border and the future of our ties cannot be separated. That is the reality.”

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