The PLA’s action at Demchok and Chumar has strained Indo-Chinese relations.
The Chinese government on Sunday summoned the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) top brass to discuss “inefficiencies” in the chain of military command and asked them “to follow the instructions of President Xi Jinping”.
The statement issued the defence ministry said the chiefs had been instructed to ensure that “all PLA forces should follow the instructions of President Xi Jinping”, who also heads the government’s Central Military Commission (CMC).
Questions were raised on the extent of Xi’s direct control over the military command after the PLA deployed several hundred troops along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in Demchok at a time when the Chinese president was on India tour.
This was the second face-off on the LAC in the last two years. Last year, the stand-off continued for 21 days at Depsang near Daulat Beg Oldie before the two armies withdrew from their positions.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi had on Thursday flagged India’s concerns about the simmering border dispute with China during talks with Chinese President Jinping, saying the resolution of the issue could drive economic cooperation and help the two countries make the 21st century an era dominated by Asian powers.
The PLA’s action at Demchok and Chumar strained Indo-China relations and surprised observers.
The LAC stand-off threatened to erode the goodwill that Xi was trying to establish with Prime Minister Narendra Modi as he visited Gujarat and New Delhi.
When pressed by Modi about the border stand-off in Demchok, Xi was learned to have conveyed that he would take steps to de-escalate the situation.
Chinese troops subsequently pulled back as the president concluded his visit, but the stand-off resumed in Chumar on Saturday, according to reports.
Xi has been seen as among the most powerful of China’s recent leaders, with strong connections with the PLA. Unlike his predecessor Hu Jintao, Xi served briefly with the PLA - albeit only as an aide to a former top official - and is known to enjoy close relationship with several of the PLA’s current top generals, including Chief of General Staff General Fang Fenghui.
The meeting of the PLA’s chiefs of staff was held in Beijing a day after Xi arrived in the capital following his visit to India. The military top brass were told to streamline the operational headquarters of the PLA and “revised several important protocols”, the defence ministry said.