The Chinese defence ministry has announced that Beijing and India have started “synchronised and organised disengagement” from Wednesday “at the southern and northern bank of the Pangong Tso Lake”. The ninth round of the Corps Commander-level talks between the two countries was held on January 24.
“This move is in accordance with the consensus reached by both sides at the 9th round of China-India Corps Commander Level Meeting,” the Chinese defence ministry said quoting senior Colonel Wu Qian.
However, the Indian side has not released a statement about the developments yet.
On Monday, China’s foreign ministry reacted to Indian minister VK Singh’s comment on the border standoff. Singh had said that India has crossed the Line of Actual Control more number of times than China, but the government does not publicly announce it.
Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin said that Singh’s comments were “an unwitting confession by the Indian side”. He also said that New Delhi had “conducted frequent acts of trespass in the border area in an attempt to encroach” Beijing’s territory.
India and China went to war in 1962 and have not been able to settle their border dispute since then. Both lay claim to thousands of kilometres of territory in each other’s control. Tensions flared up on June 15, during deadly clashes between Indian and Chinese soldiers in Galwan Valley of Ladakh region. Twenty Indian soldiers were killed. China is believed to also have suffered casualties as well, but has not given any details.
The standoff has persisted with both sides bolstering forces along the border. Both India and China have accused each other of crossing into rival territory and of firing shots for the first time there in 45 years.
Several rounds of diplomatic and military level of talks have been held over the past few months to disengage troops. On February 4, the Centre told the Parliament that China’s attempts to unilaterally change the status quo along the Line of Actual Control had “seriously disturbed” peace and tranquility in the region.