China has begun pulling back troops from along its contested border with India, Indian government sources have said, following the worst clash between the two nuclear-armed neighbours in nearly 50 years, which left 20 Indian soldiers dead.
The Chinese military was seen dismantling tents and structures yesterday at a location in the Galwan Valley near the site of the latest clash, Indian government sources, who declined to be identified as they are not authorised to speak to the media, told Reuters news agency.
Vehicles were seen withdrawing from the area, as well as at Hot Springs and Gogra – two other contested border zones, the sources said.
In response to a question on whether China had moved equipment back to the Galwan Valley, Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said both sides were “taking effective measures to disengage and ease the situation on the border”.
“We hope India will meet China halfway and take concrete measures to carry out what both sides agreed to, continue to closely communicate through diplomatic and military channels, and work together to cool down the situation at the border,” Zhao told a news conference.
This comes after weeks of tensions between the Asian nations following their worst border skirmish in more than five decades.
India and China have traded blame for triggering the high-altitude brawl in the Galwan Valley on June 15, in which 20 Indian soldiers were killed and at least 76 were injured.
– AL JAZEERA AND NEWS AGENCIES