Far from the euphoria over Bangkok handshake, India is quietly basking under a major diplomatic victory after China invited Northern Army Commander Lieutenant General DS Hooda for discussions on the border management and boundary issues. The invitation comes five years after China refused to host the then Northern Army Commander Lieutenant General BS Jaswal on the grounds that he was posted in Jammu and Kashmir, which is a ‘disputed’ territory.

Lt Gen Hooda, general officer commanding in chief (GoC-in-C) of Udhampur- based Northern Command, along with other army commanders are scheduled to travel to China in mid-December to hold discussions with Chinese counterparts on varied issues relating to the boundary issues.

“He (Lt Gen Hooda) is likely to visit China in mid-December. Exact dates will be intimated later,” Colonel SD Goswami, defence spokesman at Northern Command, told dna.

The four-day-long talks between Indian and Chinese military delegation will focus on a host of issues relating to the boundary disputes, border management and maintaining peace and tranquility on the line of actual control in Ladakh and other parts of the country that shares border with China.

India shares a 3,488-km border with China while Jammu and Kashmir shares 646 Km of line of actual control (LAC) with China. Jammu and Kashmir is the only state in the country which shares its borders with both Pakistan and China.

The incursions and transgressions by People’s Liberation Army (PLA) has been a cause of worry for the people in Ladakh division, though the number has decreased for the last one year.

In September, two armies were engaged in a bitter standoff after Indian troops dismantled the watch tower constructed by the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) at Burste in Depsang Plains on the LAC.

In April 2013 Indian and PLA were engaged in a major face-off when the Chinese troops had come 19 kilometres deep inside the Indian Territory at Daulat Beg Oldi sector on LAC and set up tented posts. The 20-day standoff ended on May 5 2013 when troops from both sides withdrew to the pre-incursion positions on the LAC.

“We hope that there will be a movement forward in the meeting between the military leaderships of the two countries. There is a major policy shift in China and a lot of goodwill towards India. We hope to carry forward the mission of friendship with China,” said an army officer.


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