India and China are to hold the 13th round of disengagement talks at the Line of Actual Control in mid-October, said Indian Army Chief General Manoj Mukund Naravane in Leh on Saturday.
He acknowledged that "there has been an increase in the deployment of Chinese troops", which has been a matter of concern. For the last six months, however, the situation has been "quite normal," he underlined.
The Army chief visited forward locations in Ladakh and reviewed operational and logistic preparedness of the force as winter is about to set in. The Army has now deployed the first K9-Vajra self-propelled howitzer regiment in the Ladakh sector, along the Line of Actual Control, the de-facto border with China. The gun can strike enemy targets at a distance of around 50 km.
"These guns can also work in high-altitude areas; field trials were extremely successful. We have now added an entire regiment, this will be really helpful," the Army Chief told ANI today.
India and China have been locked in a stand-off for more than a year. Twenty Indian soldiers died in the line of duty amid clashes with Chinese troops last year in June.
KHADI FLAG: General Naravane, who is on a two-day visit to Ladakh, along with several senior Army officials, attended the unveiling of "Khadi national flag" that has been installed in Leh on the occasion of the 152nd birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi. It is stated that the length of the flag is 225 feet, width 150 feet and it weighs 1,000 kg.
Responding to continued aggression by China at the border, he stated, "We are well prepared to meet any misadventure that may occur as we have demonstrated in the past. Such kinds of incidents will continue to occur till the time a long-term solution is reached, that is a boundary agreement... That should be the thrust of our efforts so that we have lasting peace along our northern borders."
He also stated that the unprecedented developments on the northern borders necessitated large scale resource mobilisation, orchestration of forces and immediate response, all this in a COVID19-infested environment.