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Sign of Disengagement? China, India Agree to Withdraw Troops From Forward Areas in Galwan Valley

© REUTERS / PLANET LABS INCA satellite image taken over Galwan Valley in Ladakh, India, parts of which are contested with China
A satellite image taken over Galwan Valley in Ladakh, India, parts of which are contested with China - Sputnik International
New Delhi (Sputnik): Chinese and Indian military commanders were engaged in talks to diffuse tensions on the border, which have persisted since the last week of April. The military and diplomatic level talks escalated after the violent face-off in the Galwan Valley on 15 June.

For the first time since the beginning of Corps Commander level talks, the Chinese foreign ministry on Wednesday said that both sides had “made progress in effective measures by frontline troops to disengage and deescalate the situation”.

The third round of Corps Commander level talks for de-escalation of troops along the 4,057km Line of Actual Control took place in Chushul on 30 June.

The Indian Army’s Lieutenant General Harinder Singh met his counterpart from the Chinese Army Major General Liu Lin of the South Xinjiang Military Region on the Indian side. The previous two meetings were held at Moldo on the Chinese side on 6 and 22 June.

“We hope the Indian side will work with the Chinese side towards the same goal, keep up close communication through military and diplomatic channels, and ease the situation and reduce the temperature along the border,” Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian said while talking about the disengagement.

Despite reports of progress in talks, satellite images continue to show heavy deployment of troops and armoured vehicles on both sides of the border. 

Indian paramilitary soldiers keep guard as Indian army convoy moves on the Srinagar-Ladakh highway at Gagangeer, north-east of Srinagar, India, Thursday, June 18, 2020. - Sputnik International
Chinese Forces Write ‘China’ in Huge Letters on Land Disputed With India, Satellite Images Show
Indian Defense Minister Rajnath Singh is set to visit the Ladakh region on Friday.

China has been claiming the Galwan Valley on its side of the Line of Actual Control after the violent face-off at patrolling point 14 on 15 June, when 20 Indian soldiers were killed. Skirmishes between troops on both sides have been a regular occurrence due to the loosely demarcated border.

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