Ladakh standoff: China refuses to withdraw troops from Hot Springs, Gogra, say reports
China has reportedly told India that it should be happy with ‘what has been achieved’ during the disengagement process.
China has refused to withdraw its troops from Hot Springs and Gogra Post, two of the friction points between New Delhi and Beijing in Eastern Ladakh along the Line of Actual Control, The Indian Express reported on Sunday.
Beijing’s refusal came even as India and China agreed to expeditiously resolve their outstanding matters at the 11th round of Corps Commander-level meeting held earlier in April. The two countries have completed disengagement at Pangong Tso in Ladakh. India and China had agreed to maintain stability in Eastern Ladakh and avoid any new incidents during the talks.
A source told The Indian Express that China first agreed to pull its troops back from Hot Springs and Gogra Post, but later refused to do so. China also reportedly told India that it should be happy with “what has been achieved”.
The source, involved in decision-making, added that China had reduced its troop strength at Patrolling Points 15 and 17A.
Last week, unidentified officials had told India Today that China came for the Corps Commander-level meeting with a “predetermined decision to be totally inflexible”.
The news channel reported that China has a logistics facility in Gogra, Hot Springs and Kongka La to support its troops. An air defence unit and artillery brigade are also present in these areas. Meanwhile, discussions about the standoff in Depsang Plains are still pending.
Border tensions between the two countries flared up in June last year after clashes between Indian and Chinese soldiers in Ladakh’s Galwan Valley. Twenty Indian soldiers were killed in the clashes. China identified the casualties on its side only in February this year, saying that four soldiers died.
The talks between the militaries of the two countries began soon after the clashes. However, a breakthrough came only in February this year as Union Defence Minister Rajnath Singh informed Parliament about the disengagement agreement reached between India and China.
The disengagement process along Pangong Tso in Ladakh began on February 10 after military commanders began pulling out troops, tanks and artillery from the area in the first step towards full withdrawal. The process has been completed. On February 20, India and China held commander-level talks to discuss pulling back from other areas.