The two countries have completed the withdrawal of troops from the disputed Pangong Lake area of Himalayan-adjoining Ladakh – where at least 24 Indian and Chinese soldiers were killed in a bloody clash last June.
This was stated in a joint statement issued by the Indian Ministry of Defense.
The lack of clear demarcation of the India-China border in the area has caused tensions between the two countries’ troops. On both sides of the north and south shores of Pangong Lake, huge numbers of troops were stationed at the confrontation.
The deployment of thousands of troops from the two countries in the past few months in India’s Ladakh and China-controlled Aksai-China areas has raised fears that the conflict could escalate at any time.
On February 11, India and China announced their intention to withdraw their troops from the Pangong Lake area of Ladakh. Since then, the evacuation work was going on.
Later on Saturday, senior military commanders of India and China met in nine phases to defuse tensions in their disputed border areas. Both countries are now saying they will work to maintain peace in other areas along the two countries’ long border.
India and China have been at loggerheads over the border for decades, and in 1972 there was a war between them.
The two countries share a total border of 2,100 miles – which is not clearly defined in many places.
Chinese authorities released a video of June clashes between Chinese and Indian troops in the Galvan Valley last Saturday. On Friday, for the first time, China acknowledged that four of its soldiers had been killed.
Chinese state media say their soldiers were killed “while fighting foreign troops” – who crossed the border into Chinese territory. India, however, claims that the number of Chinese troops killed is higher.
Twenty Indian soldiers were killed in that bloody clash in the Galwan Valley. It is known that there were skirmishes between the soldiers of the two countries and stones and nails were used. It was the first deadly clash between the two countries’ troops in the border area in 45 years.
In January this year, there was another clash between the two armies on the northeastern Sikkim border.
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