As India and China pull out of Hot Springs, Delhi highlights other sticking points | Latest India News

NEW DELHI: India said on Friday that the disengagement of Indian and Chinese troops in Hot Springs would be completed by September 12 and that the two sides agreed to continue talks to resolve the remaining issues on the Line of Actual Control (LAC). .

The two sides announced on Thursday the disengagement of troops from the Gogra-Hot Springs area, also known as Patrol Point-15 or PP-15, in accordance with the consensus reached at a meeting of senior military commanders on 17 July.

“In accordance with the agreement, the disengagement process in this area started on September 8, 2022 at 8:30 a.m. and will be completed by September 12, 2022,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Arindam Bagchi said.

“With the resolution of the stalemate at PP-15, the two sides mutually agreed to advance the talks and resolve the remaining issues along the LAC and restore peace and tranquility to the border areas between India and China,” he said.

The development of the PP-15 sparked speculation that Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping might meet on the sidelines of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) summit in Samarkand this week. next.

People familiar with the matter described the disengagement at PP-15 as a “positive” development, but noted that it did not mean all was well in the border areas.

“There is still a lot to do,” said one of the people quoted above. In this context, they stressed the need to continue the talks to resolve the outstanding sticking points on the LAC.

Hot Springs is just the third sticking point in the CLA’s Ladakh sector where the two sides agreed to withdraw frontline troops after more than two dozen rounds of diplomatic and military talks since the stalemate military emerged into the open in May 2020. They earlier withdrew their troops from the northern and southern shores of Pangong Lake and Gogra.

A brutal clash between the two sides in the Galwan Valley in June 2020 resulted in the deaths of 20 Indian soldiers and at least four Chinese soldiers and took bilateral relations to a historic low. Both sides have deployed nearly 50,000 troops each in the Ladakh sector.

Bagchi said the 16th round of talks between corps commanders of Indian and Chinese armies was held at Chushul Moldo meeting point on July 17. relevant issues along the LAC in the western sector of India-China border areas,” he said.

“As a result, both sides have now agreed to a disengagement in the Gogra-Hot Springs (PP-15) area,” he said.

The two sides agreed to “cease forward deployments in this area in a phased, coordinated and verified manner, resulting in the return of troops from both sides to their respective areas”, Bagchi added.

The two sides agreed that all temporary structures and other allied infrastructure created in the area by the two sides “will be dismantled and mutually verified”.

“The landforms in the region will be restored to the pre-stalemate period by both sides,” Bagchi said.

“The agreement ensures that the LAC in this area will be strictly observed and respected by both parties and that there will be no unilateral change to the status quo,” he said.

The Indian side accused the Chinese side of unilaterally trying to change the status quo on the LAC, and Foreign Minister S Jaishankar linked the normalization of comprehensive relations to the restoration of peace and tranquility in border areas.


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    Rezaul H Laskar is Foreign Affairs Editor at the Hindustan Times. His interests include cinema and music.
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