NEW DELHI: In a major breakthrough along the Eastern Ladakh border, partial disengagement of Chinese troops began in the Galwan Valley area along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) on Monday.
The process was set rolling after a video call between National Security Advisor Ajit Doval and Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi — the two special representatives on border issues — late on Sunday night.
“The People’s Liberation Army (PLA) has been seen removing tents and structures at Patrolling Point 14,” government sources said.
According to a statement from the Ministry of External Affairs, the two leaders agreed on expeditious and total disengagement.
“They agreed that it was necessary to ensure at the earliest complete disengagement of the troops along the LAC and de-escalation from India-China border areas for full restoration of peace and tranquillity. In this regard they further agreed that both sides should complete the ongoing disengagement process along the LAC expeditiously,” the statement read.
- Disengagement with PLA has started as per agreed terms in Corps Commander's meeting.
- PLA seen removing tents & structures at PP14.
- Rearward movement of vehicles of PLA seen at General area Galwan, Hotsprings & Gogra.
- Distance to be verifid @NewIndianXpress
— Mayank (@scribesoldier) July 6, 2020
The disengagement began at various locations as per terms agreed in the Corps Commanders’ meeting on June 30. “Rearward movement of PLA vehicles has been seen in general area of Galwan, Hot Springs and Gogra,” sources said.
How far deep has the PLA pulled back will be determined after due verification, an Army officer said. The Army is understandably wary and will watch the situation for at least 72 hours, since the PLA in the past did not comply with disengagement agreements.
However, “there is no movement at Finger-4 and the Chinese troops are staying put at the stand-off position at Y-Junction in Depsang bulge,” confirmed another source.
China acknowledged the limited disengagement, with foreign ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian saying progress had been made by the two militaries to disengage and reduce tensions along the LAC.
“There is progress made on frontline troops taking effective measures to disengage and ease the tensions. Chinese and Indian troops held a commander-level talk on June 30. The two sides continue to work to implement the consensus reached at the two previous rounds of talks,” he said.
PLA yet to pull out of Finger-4, Depsang
The stand-off locations include Finger-4 along the Northern Flank of Pangong Tso, Gogra Post (Patrolling Point 17A), Patrolling Points 14 and 15 in Galwan Valley and Y-Junction in Depsang.
Partial pullback in Galwan and Gogra, not elsewhere.