M Varma Beijing: The Chinese military on Thursday said the situation at eastern Ladakh has “eased distinctly” thanks to the joint efforts with India on the disengagement of troops from the Pangong Lake area but gave no indication about when the pull out will take place from the remaining areas along the Line of Actual Control (LAC). As a result of a series of military and diplomatic talks, the two countries had completed withdrawal of troops and weapons from the North and South banks of Pangong Lake last month in line with an agreement on disengagement.
But the disengagement is yet to take place in remaining areas along the LAC. The Indian Army has been pitching for a faster disengagement process in areas like Hot Springs, Gogra and Depsang to bring down tension in the mountainous region. At present, China and India have disengaged front-line troops in the Pangong Lake area and both countries have positively commented on the current moves, Senior Colonel Ren Guoqiang, a spokesperson for China’s Ministry of National Defence said at an online media briefing.
“Thanks to the joint efforts made by China and India, the situation in the border area has been eased distinctly, he said. Both sides have agreed to maintain communication through military and diplomatic channels to promote the settlement of other issues in the west section of the China-India boundary, Ren was quoted as saying by the Chinese military-run China Military Online portal.
Ren was responding to a question on reports quoting the External Affairs Ministry spokesman asking China to complete its military withdrawal at the remaining friction points along the LAC. China hopes the two sides can value the hard-won results, follow the important consensus reached by the leaders of both countries, maintain dialogue and communication and stabilise the situation against relapse, gradually coming to solutions that can be accepted by the two countries to jointly maintain peace in the border area, he said.
The border standoff between the Indian and Chinese armies erupted on May 5 last year following a violent clash in the Pangong Lake area and both sides gradually enhanced their deployment by rushing in tens of thousands of soldiers as well as heavy weaponry.