India, China agree on early disengagement of frontline troops

Tribune News Service

New Delhi, January 25

Almost nine months into a military stand-off, India and China have agreed to push for an ‘early disengagement of the frontline troops’ from along the disputed Line of Actual Control (LAC) in Eastern Ladakh.

A joint statement on Monday said, “The two sides agreed that this round of meeting was positive, practical and constructive, which further enhanced mutual trust and understanding. The two sides agreed to push for an early disengagement of the frontline troops.”

The statement emerges after a marathon 16-hour meeting between senior military commanders of India and China which started on January 24 and ended at 2.30 am on Monday. The meeting was at the Chinese Garrison of Moldo opposite the Chushul sector.

The two sides agreed to continue their effective efforts in ensuring the restraint of the frontline troops, stabilise and control the situation along the LAC in the Western Sector of the China-India border, and jointly maintain peace and tranquillity, the joint statement by the Ministry of Defence said.   

The talks, the first since November 6, were candid and in-depth exchange of views on disengagement along the LAC. The two sides also agreed to follow the important consensus of their state leaders, maintain the good momentum of dialogue and negotiation, and hold the 10th round of the Corps Commander Level Meeting at an early date to jointly advance de-escalation.

Sikkim clash

Indian and Chinese troops clashed on January 20 near the Naku La area of North Sikkim. The area is more than 15,000 feet in altitude.

The Indian Army said there was a minor face-off at Naku La area of North Sikkim on January 20 and the same was resolved by local commanders as per established protocols. It asked the “media to refrain from overplaying or exaggerating reports which are factually incorrect”.

In April last year, a clash had ensued in the area which led to injuries to troops, including four from the Indian side. As per existing protocol, when troops of either side come face-to-face along the disputed sections of the LAC, they ask either side to return.

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