China has not withdrawn its troops from all areas along the Line of Actual Control in Ladakh, even after several rounds of talks with India to discuss disengagement and deescalation of border tensions, NDTV reported on Wednesday.
Unidentified officials told the news channel that Chinese troops are still stationed at the Depsang Plains region, Gogra and the Fingers region along the Pangong Lake, where India and China had created a neutral zone. The officials added that while disengagement has happened in Galwan, Hot Springs and a part of the Fingers region, there has been no progress in Gogra and Depsang plains.
There are also still 40,000 Chinese troops in the region, according to ANI. “The Chinese have not shown any signs of deescalation as they continue to maintain their heavy troop deployment of almost 40,000 troops supported by heavy weaponry like air defence systems, armoured personnel carriers and long-range artillery in front and depth areas,” the news agency quoted officials as saying. The officials added that China was not honouring the commitment made to India.
Another top official told Hindustan Times that the deescalation of the border standoff between India and China was a “long way off”.
Earlier this month, India and China had decided to ensure “complete disengagement” of troops along the Line of Actual Control for “full restoration” of peace and tranquility in the border areas. The disengagement process began after a phone conversation between National Security Advisor Ajit Doval and Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi on July 5.
Reports had indicated that Chinese frontline troops had fully moved out of the Patrolling Point 15 of the Hot Springs area in eastern Ladakh as part of the disengagement process.
Twenty Indian soldiers were killed and 76 injured in a clash with Chinese forces in Galwan Valley in eastern Ladakh in June. The face-off between the two neighbouring countries was the worst instance of violence along the Line of Actual Control since 1975.
Following the clash, India and China sped up disengagement talks. The representatives of the two countries met for a fourth time on July 14. Previous meetings had been held on June 6 (before the clash), June 22 and June 30.
Last week, the Ministry of External Affairs said there was no change in its position on the disputed Line of Actual Control and that the disengagement on the border to resolve tensions with China was an “ongoing process”.