India, China start troop ‘disengagement’ in parts of Ladakh: Sources

However, there is no official statement on disengagement of troops from either of the two sides

Military
Indian and Chinese troops were engaged in a month-long confrontation since May 5 | iStock/Representational

The de-escalation process at the Sino-Indian border has reportedly gained momentum with the mutual disengagement of Indian and Chinese troops in parts of eastern Ladakh on Tuesday (June 9). This comes a day ahead of the next round of military talks in the ‘Hot Springs’ area of eastern Ladakh on Wednesday.

According to top military sources, the Indian and Chinese troops began “disengagement” in Galwan Valley and two other areas in eastern Ladakh, reflecting their willingness to resolve the month-long standoff through talks. But there has been no change in their posturing in areas like Pangong Tso and Daulat Beg Oldie, said sources.

There is no official statement on disengagement of troops either from the defence ministry or the ministry of external affairs. There was no word from the Chinese side as well on the development.

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Military sources said both Chinese and Indian armies withdrew some troops and removed temporary infrastructure from Galwan and Hot Springs and patrolling area PP-15. The two sides will hold Major-General level talks on Wednesday to further ease tensions in the areas, they said.

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Indian and Chinese troops were engaged in a month-long confrontation since May 5 following a violent clash in Pangong Tso, which is turning out to be biggest military standoff after the 2017 Doklam episode.

In their first serious efforts to end the row, Lt General Harinder Singh, the general officer commanding of Leh-based 14 Corps, and Commander of the Tibet Military District Maj Gen Liu Lin held an extensive meeting on Saturday. However, it could not produce any tangible results.

In a statement, the foreign ministry had said on Sunday that the meeting took place in a “cordial and positive atmosphere” and that both sides agreed that an “early resolution” of the issue would contribute to the further development of the relationship between the two countries.

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In its comments, the Chinese Foreign Ministry said both the countries have agreed to work to maintain peace along the Line of Actual Control and resolve the standoff through talks.

Saturday’s talks also came a day after the two countries held diplomatic talks during which both sides agreed to handle their “differences” through peaceful discussions while respecting each other’s sensitivities and concerns.

After the standoff began in early last month, Indian military leadership decided that Indian troops will adopt a firm approach in dealing with the aggressive posturing by the Chinese troops in all disputed areas of Pangong Tso, Galwan Valley, Demchok and Daulat Beg Oldie.

The Chinese Army has been gradually ramping up its strategic reserves in its rear bases near the LAC by rushing in artillery guns, infantry combat vehicles and heavy military equipment, the sources said.

(With inputs from agencies)

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