Vastavam web: Talks between India and China have yet to make headway to end a standoff on a disputed section of their Himalayan border, India’s defence minister said on Wednesday, as thousands of troops from both sides faced a freezing winter in the mountains. Defence Minister Rajnath Singh said there had been “no meaningful result” from several rounds of diplomatic and military talks aimed at de-escalating the worst border confrontation between the nuclear armed neighbours in decades.
But, he said, both sides were still exchanging messages over the border situation and another round of military talks was in the offing. Tensions soared in June, after troops clashed in hand-to-hand combat in the Galwan valley in Ladakh, abutting the Chinese-held Tibetan plateau. Twenty Indian soldiers were killed, with China suffering an undisclosed number of casualties, and both sides ramped up their military presence, moving men, weapons and supplies to the high-altitude desert region. India has positioned around 50,000 troops in the contested area, some at altitudes of over 15,000 feet (4572 m), where scarce oxygen and freezing winter temperatures can be life-threatening.