China is withdrawing soldiers deployed in the Galwan area of eastern Ladakh and thinning out troops in the Pangong Tso sector where it was locked in a standoff with Indian military for a month, people familiar with the development told Hindustan Times.
Top government officials said the process of the Chinese side withdrawing troops had started yesterday. “We have also reciprocated and moved back our troops,” a top government official said on Tuesday evening.
“The process to restore status quo ante has started at the standoff locations,” the official said. The next steps will be worked out at a meeting of Major General-level officers scheduled for tomorrow.
the activity at the standoff points had declined after discussions between military commanders of the two countries. Lt Gen Harinder Singh, commander of Leh-based 14 Corps, who had been in constant touch with national security planners in Delhi, had led the Indian delegation. The Chinese side was led by Maj Gen Liu Lin, commander of the South Xinjiang military region.
The standoff started after a May 5 clash after Chinese soldiers clashed in eastern Ladakh near Pangong Lake. This was the first major flare-up along the LAC since the 73-day standoff at Doklam in 2017. Chinese troops also moved in three more locations in the Galwan sector, setting up the standoff in three locations of the Galwan valley with additional troops and support elements.
The standoff in the Galwan valley was at three points, marked as the Indian army’s patrolling points 14, 15 and 17. These locations are about 6 km east to the confluence of the Galwan rivulet and Shyok river.