China, India Agree to Complete Troop Pullback From Disputed Border as Soon as Possible

Asia & Pacific

Troops from the two countries have faced off in a series of tense standoffs, occasionally degenerating into hand-to-hand combat, since May over the disputed Pangong Lake region between Ladakh and the Tibet Autonomous Region, and territories near the border between Tibet and Sikkim.

China and India have agreed to ensure a complete disengagement of troops in the disputed border areas as soon as possible, the foreign ministries of both countries confirmed on Monday.

According to an Indian readout of the agreed upon measures, the two sides committed 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 transparency.” Additionally, both sides agreed to “complete the ongoing disengagement process along the LAC expeditiously” and to “ensure a phased and stepwise de-escalation” of tensions in the border area.

Sunday’s talks were said to have been Doval and Wang’s first contact since the start of the conflict in May, with Beijing and New Delhi communicating via multiple other channels, including at the military level, before then.

The affirmation of intent follows reports by the Indian army earlier Monday that Chinese forces had been seen withdrawing from the contested Himalayan valley which saw brutal hand-to-hand fighting last month, with the Indian side currently said to be “verifying” the extent of…

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