Indian and Chinese officials say soldiers from both sides have begun falling back along their contested Himalayan border that last month saw the worst flare up of violence in four decades.
The People’s Liberation Army was seen removing tents and structures in the border area, following the last meeting between the senior commanders of both nations, an Indian government official said, asking not to be named citing rules.
China had also begun moving its vehicles back at various points along the Line of Actual Control — the 3,488 kilometre (2,167 mile) unmarked boundary — including Galwan, Hotsprings and Gogra, the Indian official said, without specifying how far the vehicles have moved.
“There is progress made on frontline troops taking effective measures to disengage and ease the tensions,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian told reporters at a daily briefing in Beijing on Monday.
“We hope the Indian side will meet China halfway and through concrete actions implement the consensus and continue close communication through military and diplomatic channels to jointly push for de-esclation on the border region.”
There’s been several rounds of talks between top Chinese and Indian army commanders in the Ladakh region since
20 Indian soldiers and an unknown number of Chinese troops were killed on June 15 in their worst clash in 45 years.
The troop movement follows a weekend phone call between India’s National Security Adivsor Ajit Doval and Chinese Minister of Foreign Affairs Wang Yi.
They re-affirmed both sides should respect and observe the Line of Actual Control (LAC), avoid any unilateral action to alter the status quo and work together to avoid any incident
in the future that could disturb peace and tranquility in border areas, according to a statement from India’s foreign affairs ministry.
“The right and wrong of what recently happened at the Galwan Valley in the western sector of the China-India boundary is very clear,” China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement with details of the talks between Doval and Wang, indicating the many sticking points that linger in the way of a lasting resolution of tensions. “China will continue firmly safeguarding our territorial sovereignty as well as peace and tranquility in the border areas.”
Both sides had agreed to continue both military and diplomatic dialog and complete the “disengagment of troops of the front-line as soon as possible,” the Chinese statement added.
The Indian army spokesman did not immediately comment on the developments.
Tensions along that frontier have been simmering since early May. Both sides have amassed thousands of troops, artillery guns and tanks at multiple locations.