India, China withdraw troops from hotly-contested Himalayan border area

New Delhi, Aug 6 (EFE).- India Friday said it had agreed with China to withdraw troops from a contested Himalayan border region in Eastern Ladakh, signaling a breakthrough in the boundary dispute that pushed the two neighbors to the brink of war last year.

The agreement came during the 12th round of military talks between the two countries on July 31.

“The two sides had a candid and in-depth exchange of views on resolution of remaining areas related to disengagement along the Line of Actual Control (the de facto border),” the Indian defense ministry said in a statement.

“Both sides agreed on disengagement in the area of Gogra. The troops in this area have been in a face-off situation since May last year.”

The statement said the two militaries ceased forward deployments in the area in a “phased, coordinated and verified manner.”

“The troops of both sides are now in their respective permanent bases.”

The ministry said all temporary structures and other allied infrastructure were dismantled that were created by the two sides in the aftermath of the heavy troop deployment last year.

The landform in the area is as it was in the pre-stand off period, the statement said.

The agreement to call back troops ensured that the two neighbors would strictly observe and respect the boundary demarcation.

India and China share a 3,500-km (2,175-mile) border that stretches from the Ladakh region in the north to Sikkim in India’s northeast.

The two sides have no resolved one more sensitive area of the border face-off.

The militaries last year engaged in a standoff at six border flashpoints.

They had already withdrawn from Galwan, north and south banks of high-altitude Pangong lake in the Ladakh sector.

But the standoffs in Depsang and Hot Springs continue.

The military tension between the two nuclear-powered neighbors began in May last year, with the two armies accusing each other of provocative trespassing on the disputed border.

Both sides have rushed tens of thousands of troops along with artillery, tanks, and fighter jets near the frontier in Ladakh.

Tension spiked further near the disputed boundary after 20 Indian soldiers were killed in a physical brawl with their Chinese counterparts in June 2020.

The Chinese military said four of its soldiers were killed and one was injured. EFE


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