India and China have agreed on “disengagement” in the area of Gogra in the high altitude Himalayan region of Ladakh, where both countries have been in a face-off since May last year.
“As per the agreement, both sides have ceased forward deployments in this area in a phased, coordinated and verified manner. The disengagement process was carried out over two days i.e. Aug. 4, 5, 2021,” Indian Defense Ministry said in a statement on Friday. “The troops of both sides are now in their respective permanent bases.”
This came following the 12th round of talks between the corps commanders of the two countries last week.
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India and China are face-to-face along the Line of Actual Control (LAC), the de facto border between China and India in the disputed Ladakh.
The ministry statement noted all “temporary structures and other allied infrastructure created in the area by both sides have been dismantled and mutually verified. The landform in the area has been restored by both sides to pre-stand-off period.”
It added that with this, one more “sensitive area of face-off” was resolved, and added that both sides have expressed commitment to take “the talks forward and resolve the remaining issues along the LAC.”
#BREAKING_NEWS :Indian & Chinese troops disengage at PP 17A in Gogra along Line of Actual Control (LAC) in the Western Sector of India-China border areas after 12th round of military talks on 31 July 2021. The troops in this area hv bn in a face-off situation since May last year pic.twitter.com/Hk4VRE2blh
— Prasar Bharati, Beijing (@PBSC_Beijing) August 6, 2021
The China-India border dispute covers nearly 3,500 km (2,175 miles) of the frontier that the two countries call the Line of Actual Control. The two nuclear-armed neighbors have a chequered history of face-offs and overlapping territorial claims along the poorly drawn Line of Actual Control separating the two sides.
The LAC is poorly demarcated. The presence of rivers, lakes and snowcaps means the line can shift. The soldiers on either side – representing two of the world’s largest armies – come face to face at many points.
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At least 20 Indian and four Chinese soldiers were killed in a clash in June last year. Tensions eased due to several rounds of talks, and the two sides stepped back, but points of friction remain and full disengagement is yet to be reached.
Anadolu with additional input by GVS News Desk