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India and China reach Ladakh border disengagement deal, deaths of 2 Chinese officers revealed

India and China have agreed on “step-wise mutual disengagement” from all areas of friction in Eastern Ladakh. (Photo courtesy: AP)

(TibetanReview.net, Jun23’20) – India and China have agreed on “step-wise mutual disengagement” from all areas of friction in Eastern Ladakh, including the main point of concern at Pangong Lake, reported theprint.in Jun 23. It said the decision was taken following a nearly-11-hour talks Jun 22 between 14 Corps Commander Lt Gen. Harinder Singh and his Chinese counterpart Major General Lin Liu, commander of the South Xinjiang Military District. It has also emerged that China had acknowledged the death of two of its officers during its Jun 15 night attack on an Indian army patrol team.

The talks were stated to have been held “in a cordial, positive and constructive atmosphere”.

“There was a mutual consensus to disengage. Modalities for disengagement from all friction areas in Eastern Ladakh were discussed and will be taken forward by both the sides,” the report quoted one of the sources as saying.

It cited another set of sources as saying the disengagement will be step-wise and take place over a period of time.

“There would be gradual de-escalation that would take place. The forces will move back a particular distance in all areas of friction. This would be different for each location,” one source was quoted as saying.

The report cited Army sources as saying more meetings will be held at levels below that of the corps commander to ensure that disengagement takes place smoothly and according to schedule.

The exact withdrawal schedule was stated to be a matter of operational secrecy.

The report also cited sources as saying Lt Gen. Singh had raised the issue of the Galwan clash on Jun 15 night that led to the death of 20 Indian soldiers and injuries to several others. Steps will now be taken by both sides to ensure such an incident is not repeated.

On Jun 22, China declined to comment on Indian minister and former Army chief Gen (retd) V K Singh’s remarks that more than 40 Chinese soldiers had been killed in the Galwan Valley clash in eastern Ladakh, saying it had no information to release on the issue.

However, according to Indian media reports, the Chinese side had informed the Indians soon after the Jun 15 night clash about the deaths of their officers, although it came to light only now.

The dead included the commanding officer (CO) and another officer of the PLA battalion which triggered a bloody clash, reported the timesofindia.com Jun 23.

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