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China withdraw troops from disputed border after deadly clash with India

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Chinese President, Xi Jinping

China began pulling back troops from along its contested border with India on Monday following clashes between the two nuclear powers last month in which 20 Indian soldiers were killed, according to Indian government sources.

Troops fought for hours with metal rods and clubs on the night of June 15, with some falling to their deaths in the freezing waters of the Galwan river in the western Himalayas. China has yet to report whether it suffered casualties.

The Indian deaths are the highest along the border in more than five decades, a dramatic escalation that led to weeks of talks between senior military officials on how to ease tensions.

On Monday the Chinese military was seen dismantling tents and structures at a site in the Galwan valley near where the latest clash took place, said the Indian government sources.

Vehicles could be seen withdrawing from the area, as well as at Hotsprings and Gogra two other contested border zones, the sources said.

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India’s national security adviser Ajit Doval and Wang Yi, one of China’s top diplomats, had “a frank and in-depth exchange of views” on Sunday regarding the border, according to briefing notes by both countries released on Monday.

The sides said they had agreed to a significant disengagement of troops, and India’s note also said the sides had agreed to respect the existing Line of Actual Control reflecting positions along the contested section of the border. This reference was not included in Beijing’s note on the meeting.

In response to a question on whether China had moved back equipment in 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, which stretches 2,520 miles.”

“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 said Monday.

But China, like India a nuclear power with a huge economy, also struck an aggressive note in its statement.

“The right and wrong of what recently happened at the Galwan Valley in the western sector of the China-India boundary is very clear,” China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said, Bloomberg, reported.

“China will continue firmly safeguarding our territorial sovereignty as well as peace and tranquillity in the border areas.”

NY Post


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