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Chinese and Indian armies to hold talks on disputed border region

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Chinese and Indian armies to hold talks on disputed border region

Chinese and Indian Army commanders are expected to meet today for their 16th round of negotiations regarding the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in the disputed Eastern Ladakh region. | Photo: Diptendu Dutta/AFP/Getty Images

Chinese and Indian Army commanders are expected to meet today to confer over the Line of Actual Control (LAC)—an unofficial military zone separating the two forces—in the disputed Eastern Ladakh region along the Sino-Indian Himalayan border.

This 16th round of negotiations—which comes as the Dalai Lama visits the region—aims to mitigate violent Sino-Indian troop engagements at various friction points in the region. Tensions have remained high along the LAC since 2020, when opposing troops engaged in deadly clashes.

These talks are unlikely to result in any major breakthrough but the chance of violent clashes remains low. India seeks the withdrawal of most troops from the region to decrease the chances of clashes. This would serve Indian interests to return the region to the pre-2020 status quo. Currently both sides have up to 60,000 troops in the region. Conversely, despite cordial high-level diplomatic engagements, China is happy with the status quo and will only agree to minor withdrawals.

Expect these military-to-military talks to continue in the medium-term, but the fundamental differences will likely remain: China will seek to effectively freeze the current status quo and India will seek to change it, while both capitals work to improve overall bilateral relations.

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