China on Monday said “progress” had been made between the two militaries to disengage and ease tension along the Line of Actual Control (LAC), six days after commander-level talks took place to cool the situation in eastern Ladakh’s Galwan Valley area.
The Chinese foreign ministry did not elaborate on the details of the progress that were made in the past six days.
“Chinese and Indian troops held a commander-level talk on June 30. The two sides continue to work to implement the consensus reached at the two previous rounds of talks,” Zhao Lijian, foreign ministry spokesperson, said at the ministry briefing on Monday.
Lijian was answering a query on whether China, as per reports in Indian media on Monday, had withdrawn troops from the area of tension.
In his response, Zhao referred to the June 30 meeting – and two previous ones in June — between delegations led by Lieutenant General Harinder Singh, commander of the Leh-based 14 Corps, and Major General Liu Lin, commander of the South Xinjiang military region.
“There is progress made on frontline troops taking effective measures to disengage and ease the tensions,” he said.
“We hope the Indian side will move towards China and through concrete actions implement the consensus and continue close communication through military and diplomatic channels to jointly push for the de-escalation on the border region,” Zhao said.
The reaction from China came within hours of Indian media reporting that Chinese troops had agreed to move back around 1.5 km from the area of friction in the Galwan Valley.
At least 20 Indian soldiers were killed in a bloody brawl with People’s Liberation Army (PLA) soldiers in the Galwan Valley area on the night of June 15. China has admitted casualties on its side but has not revealed details.
The PLA “…has possibly moved back by 1 to 1.5 km from the friction site in Galwan Valley”, people familiar with developments told HT in New Delhi on Monday.
“Disengagement with the PLA has started as per agreed terms in the Corps Commander’s meeting. The PLA was seen removing tents and structures at Patrolling Point 14,” said a person aware of the developments.
The Chinese foreign ministry on July 1 had welcomed the June 30 military-level talks.
“China welcomes that. We hope the Indian side will work with the Chinese side towards the same goal, keep up close communication through military and diplomatic channels, and ease the situation and reduce the temperature along the border,” Zhao had said according to a statement published on the website of the Chinese foreign ministry.