After more than two months of locking horns at Sino-Indian border, the Chinese military appear to be retreating.
"Chinese Army removing tents, moving back from certain areas of Galwan Valley, in first sign of disengagement of troops from area, govt sources say in Delhi," Press Trust of India (PTI) tweeted Monday.
The development follows a conversation between the Special Representatives of India and China on the Boundary Question - Ajit Doval, National Security Advisor of India and H.E. Mr. Wang Yi, State Councilor and Minister of Foreign Affairs of China had a telephone conversation on 5th July 2020.
Media reports said the two sides agreed to move back two kilometers and remove heavy weapons from the area.
Senior military leadership of India and China has held several rounds of talks since the Galwan valley incident to de-escalete the situation.
In addition, India has commenced exerting pressure on China by banning the use of Chinese origin mobile apps and canceling or putting on hold several high value contracts earlier awarded to Chinese companies.
Top official sources told IANS that both sides retreated 2km simultaneously on Sunday. "Four kilometres no-man zone in the highly mountainous terrain like Galwan valley deprives both sides to see each other''s installations and reinforcements," sources said.
The two sides have also reportedly agreed to not conduct aerial surveillance of the retreated area.
Satellite images had shown "massive" construction activity on the Chinese side of the border in the last few months. Aside of military establishments, fighter jets including J-11s and J-16s, towed artillery, 'at least' 16 military tanks, gun emplacements and other equipment near the LAC.
New Delhi had reportedly deployed new AH-64E Apache gunships, Su-30MKI, MiG-29UPG, Mirage 2000 and Jaguar jets, besides Mi-17V5 medium-lift and CH-47 Chinook heavy-lift helicopters in the region as tensions with Beijing hit a new low after a fatal clash between troops of both countries around mid-June.
Later that month, Chinese Army intensified military exercises including high-altitude tank drills and night-time parachute infiltration in Tibet bordering India’s Ladakh region.
An Indian Ministry of External Affairs statement today said on the conversation between the two Special Representatives:
The two Special Representatives agreed that it was necessary to ensure at the earliest complete disengagement of the troops along the LAC and de-escalation from India-China border areas for full restoration of peace and tranquility.
In this regard they further agreed that both sides should complete the ongoing disengagement process along the LAC expeditiously. The two sides should also ensure a phased and stepwise de-escalation in the India-China border areas.
They re-affirmed that both sides should strictly respect and observe the line of actual control and should not take 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.
The two Special Representatives agreed that the diplomatic and military officials of the two sides should continue their discussions, including under the framework of the Working Mechanism for Consultation and Coordination on India-China border affairs (WMCC), and implement the understandings reached in a timely manner to achieve the above outcomes.
It was also agreed that the two Special Representatives will continue their conversations to ensure full and enduring restoration of peace and tranquility in the India-China border areas in accordance with the bilateral agreements and protocols.