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Chinese, Indian Troops Taken ‘Effective Measures’ To Disengage Along LAC: China

Beijing: China on Thursday said Chinese and Indian troops have taken “effective measures” to disengage at the Galwan Valley and other areas along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in eastern Ladakh and the overall situation is “stable and ameliorating,” days after the two sides agreed on an expeditious withdrawal of soldiers from all the standoff points.

The remarks by Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian came a day after people in New Delhi familiar with the developments said that the Chinese military removed all temporary structures and completed withdrawal of its troops from the face-off site in Hot Springs in eastern Ladakh.

Zhao told a media briefing here that “following the consensus reached at the commander-level talks, the Chinese and India border troops have been taking effective measures to disengage at the Galwan Valley and other areas in the western sector.”

“The overall situation at the China-India boundary is stable and ameliorating,” he said.

Asked about further talks between the two countries, Zhao said, the two sides will continue to maintain dialogue and communication through military and diplomatic channels, including holding a new round of commander-level talks and the meeting of the Working Mechanism for Consultation and Coordination on India-China Border Affairs.

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“We hope India will work with China towards the same goal to implement consensus reached between the two sides with concrete actions and jointly de-escalate tensions in the border region,” the spokesman said.

In New Delhi, India once again rejected China’s claim over Galwan Valley in eastern Ladakh.

External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Anurag Srivastava said on Thursday that India remained convinced of the need for maintenance of peace and tranquillity in the border areas and resolution of differences through dialogue, but at the same time asserted that the country is committed to ensuring its sovereignty and territorial integrity.

At an online media briefing, he said the LAC must be strictly respected and observed as it is the basis for peace and tranquillity in border areas.

The disengagement process of the troops on both sides began on Monday morning after a nearly two-hour telephonic conversation between National Security Advisor Ajit Doval and Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi on Sunday.

At the talks, the two sides agreed on an expeditious withdrawal of troops from all the standoff points to bring back peace and tranquility in the region. Doval and Wang are Special Representatives (SR) for the boundary talks.

In New Delhi, the people familiar with the developments said that the two armies are expected to carry out a joint verification in the next few days to assess the implementation of the disengagement process once the dismantling of the temporary infrastructure and withdrawal of troops by China are completed at the friction points along the LAC in eastern Ladakh.

There has been thinning out of troops from Finger areas in Pangong Tso as well, they said. Pangong Tso has been a major face-off site between the two sides.

The two militaries are set to hold extensive talks on finalising modalities for restoring normalcy and bringing back peace and tranquillity in the region after the verification of the disengagement exercise is completed, they added.

Government sources in New Delhi said the Chinese military has already removed tents and withdrew its personnel from patrolling point 14 in Galwan Valley, the site of violent clashes between the two armies on June 15 that left 20 Indian soldiers dead.

The Chinese side also suffered casualties but it is yet to give out the details. According to an American intelligence report, the number of casualties on the Chinese side was 35.

(PTI)

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