Disengagement not de-escalation: Army Chief says India to maintain troop levels along China border

India and China have not violated the disengagement process in eastern Ladakh’s Pangong Tso but de-escalation is yet to take place, Army Chief General M M Naravane said on Wednesday. And till that happens, he added, India will continue to maintain an enhanced troop presence along the length of the border with China.

The Army Chief said India has around 50,000-60,000 troops in the eastern Ladakh region.

In an interview with CNN News18, Naravane denied that talks with China had reached an impasse.

“The situation along the LAC (Line of Actual Control) post the disengagement of February has been very cordial. Both sides are observing that disengagement in letter and spirit. There has been no transgression of any kind.”

He said talks are continuing and after the Corps Commanders met on April 9, the Working Mechanism for Consultation and Coordination meeting has to take place.

Since the disengagement, which was restricted to the north and south banks of Pangong Tso, in February, “with no transgressions happening with no violations of this disengagement, I think the trust has built up”, said Naravane.

“Because of that build-up in the trust maybe we will be able to make forward movement in the other areas where issues are still to be resolved. This is a continuous process, which will take time but will happen.”

Naravane said that the troop levels continue to be what they were at the height of stand-off.

He said while there has been disengagement, there…

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