The Chinese military stated on Friday that Indian and Chinese forces had started to retreat from Patrolling Point 15 in the Gogra-Hot Springs region of eastern Ladakh in a “coordinated and planned approach.”
The Indian and Chinese forces on Thursday declared that they had started to disengage from the Patrolling Point 15 in the Gogra-Hot springs area, signalling a big step forward in the effort to resolve the almost two-year-long impasse in eastern Ladakh.
India has constantly argued that preserving calm and tranquilly along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) was crucial for the growth of bilateral relations as a whole. 16 rounds of discussions between the Corps Commanders of the two armed forces were held to end the situation.
Chinese defence ministry press release: “On September 8, 2022, the Chinese and Indian troops in the area of Jianan Daban have begun to disengage in a coordinated and planned manner, which is conducive to the peace and tranquillity in the border areas, in accordance with the consensus reached in the 16th Round of China-India Corps Commander Level Meeting.”
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The Jianan Daban region mentioned in China’s military press release is the same as Patrolling Point 15 in the Gogra-Hot springs region mentioned in the Thursday news release from India, according to local Indian officials. Despite the fact that it is a Joint Statement, the two parties used separate names for the region.
According to the agreement reached at the 16th round of the India-China Corps Commander Level Meeting, the Indian and Chinese troops in the area of Gogra-Hotsprings (PP-15) have started to disengage on September 8, 2022, in a coordinated and planned manner that is beneficial to the peace and tranquilly in the border areas. This was stated in a joint statement released by the Press Information Bureau (PIB) in Delhi on Thursday night.
The declaration was made around a week before the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) conference in Uzbekistan, which is scheduled to include Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping among other top SCO officials.
There has been no official announcement from either side on a potential side meeting between Modi and Xi during the summit, but there is buzz about it. The start of the disengagement process in the Gogra-Hotsprings region is a result of the 16th round of high-level military negotiations, according to a statement from the two forces.
The evacuation of soldiers from Patrolling Point 15 (PP-15) started on Thursday morning, according to official sources who spoke to PTI in Delhi, and local commanders from both sides are figuring out the specifics of the ensuing actions.
Ground commanders from both sides undertook a number of consultations on the specifics of the disengagement process after the 16th session of Corps Commander-level talks.
According to the sources, India would continue to push for the resolution of outstanding concerns in the two remaining areas of contention, Depsang and Demchok. The two parties concluded the disengagement process last year on the north and south banks of the Pangong lake as well as in the Gogra region as a result of several military and diplomatic discussions.
The Pangong Lake region was disengaged in February of last year, while Patrolling Point 17 (A) in Gogra saw the removal of personnel and equipment in August of the same year.
Ten days after Foreign Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar and Chinese colleague Wang Yi met in Bali, Indonesia, the 16th round of military negotiations was held. The stalemate at the eastern Ladakh border started on May 5, 2020, after a bloody altercation in the Pangong lake regions. Both sides swiftly sent in tens of thousands of soldiers as well as heavy equipment to progressively increase their deployment. Currently, each side has between 50,000 and 60,000 soldiers deployed along the LAC in the sensitive area.
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