China continues to dither on troop disengagement in Ladakh
03 August 2020
India on Thursday said China has so far failed to complete troop withdrawal from the disputed border after the two sides agreed on complete disengagement along the Line of Actual Control in eastern Ladakh.
The statement by the ministry of external affairs comes two days after Beijing on Tuesday claimed that the frontline troops of both the countries have "completed" disengagement at most locations at the Line of Actual Control (LAC).
The MEA, however, said that there has been some progress towards disengagement objective in some areas.
New Delhi has called for sincere attempts by Beijing to complete disengagement and de-escalation in order to maintain peace and tranquility in the border areas, which, it said, is the basis for bilateral relationship.
"There has been some progress made towards this objective but the disengagement process has yet not been completed," MEA spokesperson Anurag Srivastava told an online media briefing.
"As we have stated earlier, the maintenance of peace and tranquility in the border areas is the basis of our bilateral relationship," Srivastava said, adding, that "Therefore, we expect that the Chinese side will sincerely work with us for complete disengagement and de-escalation and full restoration of peace and tranquility in the border areas at the earliest as agreed to by the Special Representatives.".
Senior military commanders of the two countries will be meeting in the near future to work out steps in this regard, the MEA said.
The Indian and Chinese armies have been locked in a bitter standoff at multiple locations in Galwan Valley in eastern Ladakh since the violent clash on 15 June that left 20 Indian Army personnel dead.
China’s position has been made clear by its ambassador to India Sun Weidong during a video conference on India-China relations, when he asserted China’s claim on Galwan, the point of clash between the two countries.
He also reiterated this point about the most problematic stand-off point at Pangong Tso lake, where China has intruded much deeper into Indian territory. “In the northern bank of Pangong Lake, China’s traditional customary boundary line is in accordance with the LAC.”
This explains why even after multiple rounds of diplomatic and military talks on implementing a plan for phase disengagement of troops, the process is still going slow.