China has withdrawn troops by at least a kilometer in three places in Ladakh including the tense Galwan river valley where 20 soldiers were killed in action in a deadly brawl with Chinese troops on June 15, sources said on Monday. Indian soldiers have also pulled back and a buffer zone has been created between the troops of both sides, according to the sources.
“It is the first phase of the disengagement process. Further steps will be taken after the next round of military level talks,” said the sources.
The Chinese are no longer on Indian Territory in Galwan, the sources say; temporary structures built by Chinese soldiers at the illegally occupied site at the river-bend embankment are being removed by both sides, according to the sources.
There are some indicators that China has started de-escalating from the Fingers region in Pangong.
The Chinese military has dismantled tents and structures near the site of the clash and vehicles have been seen withdrawing from the area as well as at Hot Springs and Gogra – two other contested border zones – according to sources.
Reports of the pull-back have emerged three days after Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s surprise visit to a Ladakh forward post on Friday, where he addressed thousands of troops and asserted, without naming China, that “the age of expansionism is over and expansionist forces have either lost or…