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India rejects China’s claim about complete disengagement at most locations at Ladakh borders

The Chinese military says it can deploy thousands of soldiers and weapons from central China to the border with India “within hours”. (Photo courtesy: Weibo/SCMP)

(TibetanReview.net, Jul29’20) – India has rejected as untrue China’s claim that disengagement in most friction points in the Ladakh border region between the two sides had been completed. In fact, not much has changed at Gogra and Pangong Lake for over a fortnight even as a new status quo has emerged, reported indiatoday.in Jul 29.

Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin was reported to have claimed Jul 28 in Beijing that disengagement had been completed at three points – Galwan, Hot Springs and Gogra – while remaining silent on the status at Pangong Lake.

The report cited sources as saying troops from both sides were, in fact, still in close proximity at Gogra and Pangong Lake and the situation continued to remain volatile.

The report noted that while the Chinese did move back from Finger 4 to Finger 5 on the bank of Pangong Lake, the biggest flashpoint, it still remained on the mountain spurs or the ridgeline.

This situation has not changed since the last two weeks after the Corps Commander level talks on Jul 14, the report said.

This meant the disengagement was still not complete at the lake where the Chinese had camped at Finger 4 that was always under Indian control. The Chinese had come in 8km till Finger 4 from Finger 8. India maintains the Line of Actual Control runs through Finger 8, the report said.

It added that the Chinese had, in fact, been strengthening their positions between Finger 5 and Finger 8.

India was reported to be responding in kind, including with plan for the winter deployment.

The tension in eastern Ladakh escalated manifold after the violent clashes in the Galwan Valley on Jun 15 night in which 20 Indian Army personnel were killed, noted timesofindia.com Jul 28. The Chinese side also suffered casualties but did not give details. As per US intelligence reports, the Chinese army suffered 35 casualties.

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