India-China Military Hotline Talks Run Into Protocol Congestion Within A Week

Talks to establish a hotline telephone link between the militaries of India and China, revived only last week, have hit a roadblock on matters of protocol and operational command, a senior defence official has told ThePrint.

The Fort William, Kolkata, headquartered eastern army commander, Lt. Gen. Abhay Krishna, is likely to visit China next month as the leader of an Indian military delegation. His visit follows that of a team from China in New Delhi last week that was headed by the deputy commander of the People’s Liberation Army’s Western Theatre Command, Lt. Gen. Liu Xiaowu.

The military hotline talks have stumbled after China proposed that the connection should be between its Western Theatre Command, headquartered in Chengdu and Indian Army headquarters in New Delhi. The connection would be between India’s Director General of Military Operations (DGMO) and an official designated by the western theatre commander of the PLA.

Apart from the matter of protocol — of Indian Army headquarters being equated for practical purposes with a Chinese theatre command — there are also operational reasons. Read More

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