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Disengagement Process on Both Banks of Pangong Lake Started: China

Disengagement Process on Both Banks of Pangong Lake Started: China

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NEW DELHI, Feb 10: The frontline troops from India and China have begun disengaging from the north and south banks of Pangong Lake in Ladakh “as planned earlier,” China’s military claimed on Wednesday. The armies of India and China are locked in a stand-off in the area since May, 2020.

No official statement has come from India in this regard so far.

The statement from China’s Ministry of Defence said the disengagement followed a consensus reached at the last round of talks, ninth in the schedule, held between the corps commanders on January 24.

People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Senior Colonel Wu Qian, spokesman for the Ministry of Defence, said in a statement issued in Beijing: “According to the consensus reached by the ninth round of the commander-level talks between China and India, the frontline units of the Chinese and Indian armed forces on the south and north banks of Pangong Lake started to disengage synchronously in a planned manner.”

Previous announcements of disengagement have, however, not proceeded as planned, and even the June 15 clash in Galwan Valley, in which 20 Indian soldiers and an unknown number of Chinese soldiers lost their lives marking the worst violence on the border since 1967, unfolded during a process of planned de-escalation.

During the ninth round of talks held on January 24, both sides were discussing a broad disengagement plan that had been worked out but had been held up over some specific issues. The talks took place after a long delay with the previous round held on November 6 last year.

While China had insisted on a focus on the south bank of Pangong Lake, where India had in late August moved to occupy strategic heights in response to the PLA’s transgressions in May north of the lake, India had stressed the need for a comprehensive disengagement plan covering all friction points in eastern Ladakh.

The focus of the Corps Commander talks has been on the north and south banks of Pangong Lake, which has seen tensions with warning shots also fired south of the lake last year, the first firing incidents along the border since 1975.


On 30 August, India had occupied critical mountain heights on the southern bank of the Pangong Lake like Rechin La, Rezang La, Mukpari, and Tabletop that were unmanned till now. India also made some deployments near the Blacktop. The movement was carried out after the Chinese tried to make a provocative military move.

Now, dominance at these 13 peaks allows India to dominate Spangur Gap under Chinese control and also the Moldo garrison on the Chinese side.

(Manas Dasgupta)



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