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Thursday, January 21, 2021

India, China troop disengagement remains uphill task

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ladakh china india faceoff galwanBy Sumit Kumar Singh

New Delhi, July 29 (IANS) Prospects of disengagement of troops at the disputed border between India and China appear to be dim and uphill.

India claims that Chinese People’s Liberation Army troops have not moved back as per the agreed consensus arrived at during the disengagement talks between both countries.

China claims that disengagement in most friction points is complete. Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin said on Tuesday in Beijing that disengagement is complete.

Both the countries’ military representatives have planned to meet and carry out talks to resolve the dispute again.

India has now deployed around 35,000 more troops at the disputed places to match the Chinese deployment in the area. The Indian Army is preparing for a long haul and harsh winter in the high-altitude region.

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The Indian government stated that the Chinese troops have not gone back at the friction points. Nothing much has changed on the ground at Gogra and Pangong Lake and Depsang. The Pangong Lake and Hot Springs-Gogra area that is part of Patrol Point 17A still remains volatile.

At Pangong Lake, the Chinese troops did move back from Finger 4 to Finger 5 on the bank but still remain on the mountain spurs or the ridgeline. In fact, the Chinese have only been strengthening their positions between Finger 5 and Finger 8.

The mountain spurs jutting into the lake are referred to as “fingers” in military parlance.

China is not complying with the roadmap for a complete pullback drawn out during the Corps Commander-level meet on July 14. PLA troops have not moved back.

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The Indian security establishment said that the Chinese retreated a bit and then returned, so there is a need for “constant verification” of the consensus achieved during the meetings between Indian and Chinese military teams.

The two countries are locked in a 10-week standoff at multiple points, hitherto unprecedented, along the border.

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China had changed the status quo on the LAC at various places, moving inside Indian territory. India has objected to it and is taking up the matter with China at all levels.

On June 15, as many as 20 Indian soldiers and an unknown number of Chinese troops were killed in a violent clash in the Galwan valley.

–IANS

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