Indian, Chinese Troops Mutually Pull Back From Most Ladakh Areas: Sources

India-China standoff: Talks between the two armies are to be held this week at multiple locations including Patroling point 14 (Galwan area), Patrolling point 15, and Hot Springs area

Top military talks are to be held in the 'hot springs' area of eastern Ladakh on Wednesday (File)

Highlights

  • Talks between two armies are to be held this week at multiple locations
  • India wants to resolve decades-old border issue, Rajnath Singh had said
  • Both countries agreed to work to maintain peace along LAC, China has said
New Delhi:

Indian and Chinese troops have begun mutual disengagement in some parts of eastern Ladakh ahead of the next round of military talks scheduled today, government sources said on Tuesday. Top military talks are to be held in the 'Hot Springs' area of eastern Ladakh. 

Sources say ahead of the talks, a "significant" number of Chinese troops have withdrawn. Except the Finger region in Pangong Tso, Chinese troops have started pulling back two to three km, they say. To reciprocate, the Indian side has also brought back some of its troops and vehicles from these areas, said top sources.

Talks between the two armies are to be held this week at multiple locations including Patrolling point 14 (Galwan area), Patrolling point 15, and Hot Springs, ANI quoted government sources as saying.

Indian military teams are in Chushul for talks with the Chinese soldiers.

On Monday, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh said India wants a resolution of the decades-old border issue with China "as soon as possible". He described as "positive" last week's high-level military dialogue between the two sides on the face-off in eastern Ladakh.

In an attempt to defuse tension, Lieutenant General Harinder Singh, the General Officer Commanding of Leh-based 14 Corps, and Commander of the Tibet Military District Major General Liu Lin held an extensive meeting on Saturday.

A day later, the foreign ministry said in a statement that the meeting took place in a "cordial and positive atmosphere" and that both sides had agreed that an "early resolution" would contribute to further development of the relationship between the two countries.

The Chinese foreign ministry, in a statement, said both the countries had agreed to work to maintain peace along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) and resolve the standoff through talks.

Tension between the two sides sharply escalated after reports of skirmishes between soldiers in the Pangong Lake region on May 5 and May 6.

According to sources quoted by Press Trust of India, the Chinese Army had been ramping up its strategic reserves in its rear bases near the LAC by rushing in artillery guns, infantry combat vehicles and heavy military equipment. The trigger for the face-off was China's stiff opposition to India laying a key road in the Finger area around the Pangong Tso Lake, besides the construction of another road connecting the Darbuk-Shayok-Daulat Beg Oldie road in Galwan Valley, PTI said quoting sources.