China, India border troops begin to ‘disengage simultaneously’

For decades, the two countries have been fighting over the largely uninhabited region, including a brief war in 1962.

The mountains surrounding Pangong Tso lake [File: Sorin Furcoi/Al Jazeera]
The mountains surrounding Pangong Tso lake [File: Sorin Furcoi/Al Jazeera]

China’s defence ministry has said that Chinese and Indian front-line troops at the border of the two countries have begun to “disengage simultaneously” on the north and south shore of Pangong Tso lake.

The move was announced on Wednesday by defence ministry spokesman Wu Qian on Weibo.

Several rounds of talks have been held over the past few months to disengage troops facing off on inhospitable mountains in freezing temperatures.

For decades, the two countries have been fighting over the largely uninhabited region, including a brief war in 1962.

Tensions between the two nuclear-armed neighbours escalated in May of last year in India’s Ladakh region, which borders Tibet.

Indian officials say Chinese soldiers crossed the boundary at three different points, putting up tents and guard posts and ignoring verbal warnings to leave.

Several Indian and Chinese soldiers were injured in a high-altitude cross-border clash involving fists and stone-throwing in Sikkim state.

Indian officials said Chinese troops within days encroached over the demarcation line in the Ladakh region, further to the west.

India then moved extra troops into the area.

Last month, Indian and Chinese troops were involved in a “minor face-off“.

“It is clarified that there was a minor face-off at Naku La area of North Sikkim on 20 January 2021 and the same was resolved by local commanders as per established protocols,” the Indian army said in a statement at the time.

Source: News Agencies

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