NEW DELHI: In a major development, the disengagement of Indian and Chinese troops at Galwan Valley, PP-15, 14, and 17A in eastern Ladakh was completed. This exercise was part of the process of de-escalation initiated as a result of the ongoing talks at the diplomatic and military levels between the two countries.
Although disengagement has taken place between the two sides, the Chinese have not started the process of de-escalation along the LAC, opposite East Ladakh, where they have maintained the build-up of nearly 40,000 troops with heavy weapons deployed in front and depth areas.
According to a news agency, "The ongoing engagement and dialogue between India and China at the military and diplomatic level resulted in a complete disengagement at Patrolling Point 14 (Galwan area), 15 and 17 A (Hot Springs / Gogra) in eastern Ladakh." Another Corps Commander-level meet between India and China is likely in the coming week.
Lt. General YK Joshi, Chief of the Northern Army said that a phase of disengagement is underway as a result of four rounds of Corps Commander meetings. He asserted that this is a complex process and it has to be carried out diligently.
The virtual meeting, headed by Naveen Srivastava, MEA Joint Secretary (East Asia), discussed the process of disengagement along the LAC in East Ladakh. And again, India insisted that "a maximum of peace and tranquillity was important to the smooth overall growth of bilateral relations."
An official readout from the MEA said that "They agreed that early and complete disengagement of the troops along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) and de-escalation from India-China border areas in accordance with bilateral agreement and protocols and full restoration of peace and tranquillity was essential for the smooth overall development of bilateral relations."
The clash that took place between Indian and Chinese troops on the night of 15/16 June at Galwan area killed 20 Indian soldiers along with an unidentified number of troops of the People's Liberation Army (PLA).