Gen Hooda’s China visit to fine-tune LAC channels
Northern Command chief Lt Gen DS Hooda’s visit to China from December 14 to 19 will fine-tune communication channels between the Indian Army and the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) for quickly resolving stand-offs in Ladakh.
A hotline between the Northern Command Headquarters and the PLA may also be established.
“Besides fine-tuning military ties, a hotline between the Northern Command and the PLA in the western sector and more mechanisms to quickly resolve incidents of stand-off at the local level will be discussed between General Hooda and his counterpart from the western sector,” said a defence source.
The Line of Actual Control (LAC) has not been delineated in Ladakh. Therefore, both sides will evolve more efficient ways and methods at the local level to avoid stand-offs, the source added.
A defence official pointed out that military ties between the two countries had been constantly improving.
“This year both armies have opened two more border meeting points — Chushul and Daulat Beg Oldie (DBO) — in Ladakh and now this visit will further propel the ties,” he said.
“Since there is no well-defined LAC, incidents of transgression do occur but there is an understanding between us to maintain peace and this visit will further fine-tune coordination at the local level,” the defence official said.
Till May 4 this year, both sides had witnessed 59 face-offs and 68 incidents of transgression on the LAC in Ladakh.
On August, India and China opened their fifth border meeting point at the Daulat Beg Oldie sector in northern Ladakh for local Army commanders to meet and sort out issues amicably.
“Lt Gen Hooda will lead a delegation of military officers to China from December 14 to 19 on the invitation of the Chinese government,” said defence spokesperson Col SD Goswami said.
Lt Gen Hooda and other officers will visit various military and civil establishments in China, including the PLA Headquarters at Beijing and the Lanzhou military region, he said.
The delegation will also exchange views on measures to usher in greater peace and tranquillity along the Line of Actual Control in eastern Ladakh and Xingjiang province of China, he said.
China had denied visa in 2010 to then Northern Command chief Lt Gen BS Jaswal on the grounds that he was responsible for a “disputed” state.