New Delhi: The disengagement of Indian and Chinese troops from Gogra-Hot Springs in Ladakh will be completed by Monday. The development comes ahead of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Uzbekistan visit for the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation, or SCO, summit.
Here’s your 10-point cheatsheet to this big story:
Both sides have agreed that all temporary structures and other allied infrastructure created in the area will be dismantled and mutually verified, Foreign Ministry spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said in a statement.
The landforms in the area will be restored to pre-stand-off period by both sides, Mr Bagchi said.
India and China have been able to disengage so far from the Galwan region where fierce clashes between soldiers of both sides took place in June 2020, in which 20 Indian soldiers laid down their lives for the country. Over 40 Chinese soldiers were killed or injured.
The two sides have agreed to cease forward deployments in this area (Gogra-Hot Springs) in a phased, coordinated and verified manner, resulting in the return of the troops of both sides to their respective areas, Mr Bagchi said, a day after both sides announced the outcome of the 16th round of military talks.
The agreement ensures that the Line of Actual Control, or LAC, in this area will be strictly observed and respected by both sides, and that there will be no unilateral change in status quo, Mr Bagchi said.
Though there have been breakthroughs on both Galwan Valley and the banks of Pangong Lake further south in Ladakh, Chinese soldiers are still believed to hold large swathes of Indian territory to the north in the Depsang plains.
The 16th round of Corps Commander level talks between India and China were held on July 17. Before that, the two sides met for talks in March.
The disengagement in Pangong Lake area had taken place in February last year while the withdrawal of troops and equipment in Patrolling Point 17 (A) in Gogra took place in August last year.
India has been ramping up its overall military might in all strategically key areas along the nearly 3,500-km-long LAC after the Galwan Valley clash in June 2020, which triggered a major escalation in tensions between India and China.
Chinese President Xi Jinping will also attend the two-day SCO Summit, where PM Modi is going.