New Delhi: In a major development on Monday in the ongoing India-China border dispute along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in Ladakh, Indian and Chinese troops began disengaging from three of the four sites where they have been engaged in a standoff for two months now, in the union territory. Also Read - India in Talks With China Militarily And Diplomatically to Resovle Ladakh Standoff: Foreign Secretary
The disengagement has been attributed to a telephonic conversation which took place on Sunday between the special boundary representatives of the two sides: National Security Advisor (NSA) Ajit Doval from India and Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi. Also Read - 'Frank, in-Depth Exchange of Views': MEA on NSA Doval's Talks With Chinese Foreign Minister
Here’s all you need to know: Also Read - China Not Ready to Stir From New Claim Over 'Disputed' Territory in Bhutan
(1.) Indian and Chinese troops have booth moved back by at least a kilometre from Patrol Point (PP) 14 in Galwan Valley. This is where they clashed on the night of June 15, resulting in deaths of 20 Indian soldiers, including that of a Colonel, and an unspecified number on the Chinese side.
(2.) Disengagement has also taken place in Hot Springs and Gogra. This was achieved after three rounds of Corps Commander-level talks on June 6, June 22 and June 30. A buffer zone has been created to ensure that the two sets of troops remain at a distance from each other.
(3.) However, tensions continue to remain high at the Pangong Tso area from where China is refusing to move as it is reportedly holding advantageous positions there. Here, they are reported to have come in eight kilometres west of which India says is the LAC.
(4.) Though the Chinese have taken a step back, the Indian Army has adopted a cautious approach. This is in part because of the ‘lack of trust’ post June 15 and also because it is being said that China has withdrawn because of spate in Galwan River due to snow melt in Aksai Chin and as such, they can come back at a later stage.
(5.) On Sunday, NSA Doval and Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi had a two-hour-long telephonic conversation to discuss situation along the western sector of India-China border areas. During the conversation, they agreed that the two sides should ‘strictly respect and observe’ the LAC, which is the de-factor border between the two countries.
(6.) Also during the call, it was decided to initiate the disengagement at the earliest ‘to fully restore peace and tranquility’ in border areas. It was after this conversation that the disengagement process was was set in motion.
(7.) The NSA, news agency ANI reported quoting government sources, is monitoring the situation along the LAC closely with the Army, also quoting the government sources as saying that the tension will be resolved ‘amicably’ soon.
(8.) In its statement on the conversation, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said that both Doval and Wang Yi had a ‘frank and in-depth’ discussion, adding that the two re-affirmed that both sides should strictly respect and observe the LAC and not take any unilateral action to alter the status quo and work together to avoid any future tensions in the border areas.
(9.) In a statement of its own, China acknowledged that the current bilateral ties were facing a complex situation. It further said that both sides should adhere to the strategic judgement that they don’t pose any threat to each other.
(10.) Later in the day, Foreign Secretary Harsh Vardhan Shringla said that India was engaging with China through diplomatic and military channels to bring peace at the borders. “If there’s no communication with China, the situation would be worse”, he added.