China puts pre-conditions to pull back, wants India to give up its posts

China has asked the Indian Army to destroy certain fortified positions in the so-called disputed territory in eastern Ladakh in return for the PLA removing its temporary camp in Depsang valley, now at the centre of a military face-off.

Sources said a flag meeting on Tuesday the second since the Chinese incursion on April 15 failed after the Chinese side made its demand. The Indian side was not willing to make a commitment, and that led to an impasse, the sources said. Also read: Panel alert on China projects

The sources said that Indian fortifications that have come up recently in eastern Ladakh are in an area different from the one where the current faceoff is taking place. No official word was forthcoming on the flag meeting. Also read: Border tension escalates

Emerging new details of the situation in the Depsang valley show that the standoff was triggered by a series of five transgressions by troops of the People's Liberation Army (PLA) on April 15, including a border crossing by a Chinese military helicopter. India on Tuesday described the situation as being "face to face", but expressed hope of a peaceful resolution.

Sources said that hours before Chinese troops pitched three tents in the valley on April 15, a chopper was seen overhead, possibly flying in support of the soldiers. Officials said Tuesday that Chinese troops were at Raki Nala, 10 km inside India's perception of the Line of Actual Control (LAC).

The sources said that on the night of April 15, a group of Chinese soldiers engaged Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) personnel for a few hours before retreating. Another group of soldiers, however, used the distraction to put up three tents on disputed territory about three kilometres away.

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