- "All perceived differences that we have will be set to rest": Army Chief
- Significant number of Chinese troops have pulled back by 3 kms: Sources
- Tensions with China spiked after reports of skirmishes in Ladakh
The "situation along our borders with China is under control", Army Chief General MM Naravane said Saturday morning, adding that a series of meetings between senior military commanders from both sides had resulted in "a lot of disengagement" and that "all perceived differences that we (India and China) have will be set to rest".
"I would like to assure everyone that the entire situation along our borders with China is under control. We're having a series of talks which started with Corps Commander level and has been followed up with meetings at local levels between commanders of equivalent ranks," General Naravane was quoted by news agency ANI.
"As a result, a lot of disengagement has taken place and we are hopeful that through the continued dialogue we're having, all perceived differences that we (India and China) have will be set to rest," the general added.
Tensions between India and China escalated in early May after reports of skirmishes in eastern Ladakh's Pangong Lake region. There were also reports of Chinese soldiers patrolling the lake on motorboats and incursion by Chinese choppers.
Satellite images last month also appeared to show the presence of four Chinese Air Force fighter jets at an airport located around 200 km from Pangong Lake.
India, which said the Chinese military was hindering normal patrolling by its troops along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in Ladakh and Sikkim, requested high-level talks between senior military commanders to defuse the situation.
The first round was held on June 6 at the Border Personnel Meeting Point in Maldo on the Chinese side of the LAC.
The fifth round - at the Major General level - was held on Friday in the Galwan area of eastern Ladakh, following talks at a similar level on Wednesday.
Also on Friday, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh was briefed by the Army Chief, his Air Force and Navy counterparts and Chief of Defence Staff, General Bipin Rawat.
According to news agency PTI, Mr Singh told the country's senior-most military commanders to exercise firmness in dealing with the border situation but also said the row must be resolved via talks.
Earlier this week, following the first round of talks, government sources confirmed that India and China had begun mutual disengagement in parts of eastern Ladakh. Sources said a "significant" number of Chinese troops had pulled back. To reciprocate, India also brought back some of its troops and vehicles from these areas.
However, both sides remained engaged in aggressive posturing in areas such as Pangong Tso, Daulat Beg Oldie and Demchok.
The Chinese foreign ministry, in a statement last week, said both countries had agreed to work to maintain peace along the LAC and resolve the stand-off through talks.
The stand-off in eastern Ladakh is in at least five key areas where India and China have had traditional differences on the perception of the LAC in the region. It is the most serious since the two countries, which fought a brief war in 1962, were locked in a similar situation in Doklam, in the eastern Himalayas, for three months in 2017.
The India-China boundary covers the 3,488-km-long LAC. Both sides have been asserting that pending the final resolution of the boundary issue, it is necessary to maintain peace and tranquillity in the areas along the LAC.
With input from ANI, PTI