On January 18th, Chinese President Xi Jinping held a video conversation with soldiers from the People’s Liberation Army stationed along the India-China border. He addressed troops at a border defense station in Khunjerab under the Xinjiang Military Command and inspected their combat readiness, according to state media in Beijing. He also spoke to a Chinese navy formation and an air force aviation brigade and instructed them to remain alert and prepared for combat.
President Xi, in his conversation with the troops, acknowledged the recent changes in the area and inquired about its impact on the Chinese army. He asked the soldiers about their conditions and whether they were able to access fresh vegetables in the harsh terrain.
Despite some progress in de-escalation, disengagement has yet to be fully completed in two areas of the Western Sector where tensions have been high since April 2020, due to multiple transgressions by the PLA. Both sides continue to have a large number of troops deployed in forward positions.
India and China have agreed to keep communication channels open and maintain peace in border areas during their recent 17th round of military commander talks. However, progress in reaching an understanding to disengage in the remaining two friction points in Depsang and Demchok has been slow.
According to state media, President Xi inquired about the soldiers’ border patrol and management work and praised them as models of border defense. He encouraged them to continue their efforts and make new contributions.
Source: The Hindu