Beijing, February 18
China on Thursday said the disengagement process of the Chinese and Indian frontline troops at the eastern Ladakh border was progressing smoothly and expressed hope that both sides will make concerted efforts to achieve the goal.
On February 10, China’s Defence Ministry spokesman Senior Colonel Wu Qian announced that the Chinese and Indian frontline troops at the South and North banks of the Pangong Lake in eastern Ladakh started synchronised and organised disengagement.
“To my knowledge, things are progressing smoothly in general. We hope both sides will continue to move towards each other, strictly comply with the consensus reached and agreements signed, and ensure the smooth completion of the disengagement process,” Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying said when asked how the disengagement process is proceeding.
“Based on the consensus reached by the Chinese and Indian sides in rounds of consultations through diplomatic and military channels, frontline troops of both sides in the Pangong Lake area started on February 10 to organise disengagement in a synchronised and planned manner,” she said.
About the timeline of the disengagement of the troops, she said: “I don’t have any at the moment and refer you to the military.”
After nine months of border standoff in eastern Ladakh, the two armies reached an agreement on disengagement in the North and South banks of Pangong Lake that mandates both sides to cease forward deployment of troops in a “phased, coordinated and verifiable” manner.
The Indian Army on Tuesday released short videos and photographs showing thinning down of troops and dismantling of bunkers, camps and other facilities by the Chinese military in the areas around the Pangong lake in eastern Ladakh in line with the agreed disengagement process between the two sides.
The visuals also showed the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) using a bulldozer to flatten some structures, and vehicles with troops and equipment preparing to retreat to rear bases as part of the infantry disengagement. PTI
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