Chinese, Indian border troops start disengagement in eastern Ladakh: Chinese Defence Ministry

Beijing, Feb 10 (PTI): The frontline troops of China and India at the south and north banks of the Pangong Lake in eastern Ladakh started synchronised and organised disengagement from Wednesday, the Chinese defence ministry announced here.

There was no comment from the Indian side on the statement made by the spokesperson for the Chinese Ministry of National Defence, Senior Colonel Wu Qian.

“The Chinese and Indian frontline troops at the southern and northern bank of the Pangong Tso Lake start synchronised and organised disengagement from February 10,” Wu said in a brief statement.

Reacting to the Chinese defence ministry’s statement, Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin said that according to the consensus reached at the Chinese and Indian Foreign Ministers’ meeting in Moscow and the 9th round of commander-level talks between the two sides, the front-line troops of the Chinese and Indian militaries began to conduct simultaneous and planned disengagement in the Pangong Lake area on February 10.

“We hope the Indian side will work with China to meet each other halfway, strictly implement the consensus reached between the two sides and ensure the smooth implementation of the disengagement process,” Wang said in a separate statement.

“This move is in accordance with the consensus reached by both sides at the 9th round of China-India Corps Commander Level Meeting,” the statement added.

The militaries of China and India have been engaged in a tense standoff in eastern Ladakh since early May last year. The two countries have held several rounds of military and diplomatic-level talks to resolve the face-off.

On January 24, the 9th round of China-India Corps Commander-level meeting was held on the Chinese side of the Moldo-Chushul border meeting point.

During the meeting, the two sides agreed that the meeting was “positive, practical and constructive,” which further enhanced mutual trust and understanding. The two sides agreed to push for an early disengagement of the frontline troops.

“The two sides agreed to continue their effective efforts in ensuring the restraint of the frontline troops, stabilise and control the situation along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in the Western Sector of the China-India border, and jointly maintain peace and tranquillity,” a joint press release of the 9th round of India-China military Commander-level meeting said last month.