The eighth round of Corps Commander-level talks between India and China were held on 6 November at Chushul. After the talks, both sides gave per-functionary diplomatic statements of having had candid discussions on disengagement and to carry the process forward as per the consensus reached between the leaders of the two countries. Prior to this development, it was presumed that status quo would continue indefinitely.
Since India secured the dominating heights on the Kailash Range on the night of 29/30 August, during the sixth and seventh round of military talks, the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) had been persistent that disengagement must begin with our withdrawal from the Kailash Range because India has ‘altered the status quo’.
Beijing remained ambiguous with respect to disengagement in the Depsang Plains and north of Pangong Tso, claiming that it has merely secured its own territory up to the 1959 Claim Line.
But India rightly said that it has never recognised the 1959 Claim Line and that it is China that has unilaterally altered the status of the Line of Actual Control (LAC) and violated the 1993 agreement.
On the Kailash Range, India has only moved up to the LAC to preempt the People’s Liberation Army’s (PLA) planning to alter the status quo. India further insisted on an all-encompassing status quo ante agreement.