Infrastructure

Big development! Indian, Chinese border troops begin disengagement at Pangong Tso lake

Read more at www.dnaindia.com

The Pangong Lake has been the focus of the tussle between India and China amid the border standoff in eastern Ladakh over the last nine months.

  • DNA Web Team
  • Feb 10, 2021, 10:00 PM IST

The Chinese and Indian border troops on the southern and northern shores of Pangong Lake began disengagement on Wednesday after the consensus was reached during the ninth round of military commander-level talks, according to China’s Ministry of National Defense.

The Chinese and Indian border troops began disengagement as planned on Wednesday according to the consensus reached during the ninth round of military commander-level talks, reported Global Times, citing the Defense Ministry.

The Pangong Lake has been the focus of the tussle between India and China amid the border standoff in eastern Ladakh over the last nine months.

India and China had agreed to push for an early disengagement of the frontline troops in eastern Ladakh during the ninth round of the China-India Corps Commander Level meeting held on the Chinese side of the Moldo-Chushul border meeting point on January 24 to address the ongoing military standoff.

Currently some 50,000 Indian troops are deployed in a high state of combat readiness in sub-zero conditions in mountainous locations across eastern Ladakh. China has deployed an equal number of troops, officials have said.

1. Disengaging in ‘synchronised and organised’ manner

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The front line troops of India and China have begun disengaging in ‘synchronised and organised’ manner from the north and south banks of Pangong lake. This is the same place where both sides have been locked in a stand-off for months. China’s military announced this on Wednesday.

An official source in Delhi said that this was the first step in the long process of disengagement and de-escalation. According to the consensus reached between the two sides during the ninth round of military commander-level talks, ‘Finger 4’ is being cleared. 

The Pangong Lake has been the focus of the tussle between India and China amid the border standoff in eastern Ladakh over the last nine months.

 

 

2. First phase of disengagement begins

First phase of disengagement begins

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In this first phase of disengagement, some tanks and armoured elements on the South bank are being withdrawn. There is also thinning down of troops on the north bank, a Government of India source said. However, troops continue to remain in key positions. 

It would be a multi-step process for disengagement and de-escalation along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) and would take time, said a second government source.

People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Senior Colonel Wu Qian, spokesman for the Ministry of Defence, said in a statement issued in Beijing, “The Chinese and Indian front line troops at the southern and northern banks of the Pangong Tso Lake start synchronised and organised disengagement from February 10. This move is in accordance with the consensus reached by both sides at the 9th round of China-India Corps Commander Level Meeting.”

3. Rajnath Singh to make statement in Rajya Sabha on Thursday

Rajnath Singh to make statement in Rajya Sabha on Thursday

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Indian government officials said verification after each step would be the key for the process to go forward. While aerial monitoring, using unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV), would be done, on the ground, verification at each step would also be done to ensure that the Chinese fully honour the understanding.

On the south bank, both sides had deployed tanks and armoured vehicles in close proximity, within few hundred metres, after tensions went up end of August.

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh would make a statement in the Rajya Sabha on Thursday on the situation in Ladakh, his office said on Twitter.

4. Ninth round of talks held on January 24

Ninth round of talks held on January 24

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

While China had insisted on a focus on the south bank (where India 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.

5. Last June both sides pulled back troops by equal distance

Last June both sides pulled back troops by equal distance

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As part of the first phase of disengagement last June, both sides had pulled back troops by equal distance from Patrolling Points (PP) 14 in Galwan valley and PP15 in Gogra-Hot Springs. It was during the disengagement at Galwan that violent clashes occurred.

6. Chinese troops made ingress up to Finger 4

Chinese troops made ingress up to Finger 4

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Since the stand-off began in early May, China has moved a large number of troops and equipment close to the LAC in addition to the ingress by its troops inside Indian territory at various places in eastern Ladakh. On the north bank, Chinese troops made ingress from Finger 8 up to Finger 4, blocking Indian patrols. India holds till Finger 4 but claims till Finger 8 as per alignment of the LAC.

(Image Source: ANI)

7. Depsang Plains another area of concern

Depsang Plains another area of concern

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Apart from Pongong lake, another major area of concern for India is the strategic Depsang Plains, where Chinese troops have been blocking Indian Army patrols from going up to the Patrolling Points (PP) 10 to 13 beyond the Y-junction.

(Image Source: ANI)

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