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Minggu, 21 Februari 2021

India, China complete troop withdrawal from lake area of disputed Himalayas - ABC News

Indian and Chinese troops have pulled out from a lake area on their disputed border in the western Himalayas, setting the scene for disengagement at other friction points.

Thousands of soldiers have been facing off since April on the Line of Actual Control (LAC), or the de facto border between the nations, including at the glacial Pangong Tso lake.

Earlier this month, military commanders agreed to begin pulling out troops, tanks and artillery in a first step towards full withdrawal.

On Saturday, the two commanders met to review how the plan was progressing.

"The two sides agreed to follow the important consensus of their state leaders, continue their communication and dialogue, stabilise and control the situation on the ground, push for a mutually acceptable resolution of the remaining issues in a steady and orderly manner, so as to jointly maintain peace and tranquillity in the border areas," the two countries said in a joint press release.

"The two sides positively appraised the smooth completion of disengagement of frontline troops in the Pangong Lake area noting that it was a significant step forward that provided a good basis for resolution of other remaining issues along the LAC in Western Sector."

The deployment in the remote area, which falls in India's Ladakh region and adjoins the Chinese-administered Aksai Chin plateau, had raised fears of a broader conflict between the two countries.

A combination photo shows close up of revetments and equipment (top) and revetments and storage areas removed along Finger 6.
Before and after satellite images of fortifications and storage areas which were removed along an area known as Finger 6, at Pangong Tso.(Reuters: Satellite image 2021 by Maxar Technologies)

A clash erupted in the Galwan Valley in June, when 20 Indian soldiers were killed in the first combat losses on the disputed border in more than four decades.

China said this week it lost four soldiers in the fighting.

Troops remained in close proximity at other parts of the undefined border, including at Hot Springs, Gogra Post and the Depsang plains, officials said.

India and China fought a war in 1962 and the border remains undefined.

India said Chinese troops had intruded deeply into its side of the LAC last April, triggering the most serious stand-offs in decades.

China denied its troops had transgressed the LAC and accused Indian border guards of provocative behaviour.

Reuters

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2021-02-21 21:25:43Z
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