Standoff ends between India, China

Standoff ends between India, China

The prolonged standoff in eastern Ladakh between the border guards of India and China has finally ended on Tuesday, with the pull out of Chinese troops from the disputed territory near the Sino-Indian border.

A meeting of the border commanders of the two sides was held on Tuesday at Spanggur Gap to confirm that the stand-off between the border troops in Chumar and Demchok areas has been successfully terminated, the Ministry of External Affairs said in a statement.

As per an understanding reached between the two nations, New Delhi and Beijing carried out disengagement and redeployment of border troops in Chumar and Demchok areas in eastern Ladakh on September 26 and 27 to restore the status quo ante as on September 1, it added.

While the face-off was between the troops at Chumar near an Indian post named 30-R, two groups of civilians, presumably backed by their respective militaries, were sitting across each other at a Charding-Ninglung Nullah track junction in Demchok, about 80 km from Chumar.

Officials from the Indian Army and Defence Ministry did not make any comment on the resolution except admitting that a flag-meeting has taken place.

The crisis, which cast a shadow on the summit meeting between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping earlier this month, was resolved after India agreed to dismantle observation posts in Chumar set up in September.

There is, however, no official word on such a post in the first place. The Chinese attempt to extend a road close to a ridge line that defines border in the Chumar sector seems to have followed the Indian action.

The sequence is almost a repeat of last year's Depsang Bulge incident when Chinese troops came 19 km inside Indian territory and withdrew only after India destroyed a tin shade in Chumar housing surveillance equipment.

New Delhi and Beijing have also agreed to hold a meeting of the Working Mechanism for Consultation and Coordination on the India-China Border Affairs (WMCC) in India on October 16 and 17 to discuss issues pertaining to the maintenance of peace and tranquillity in the border areas, says the MEA statement.

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