China’s PLA (People’s Liberation Army) has withdrawn troops from the north and south of Pangong Lake on Wednesday morning, followed by Indian troops, which is a breakthrough after the long standoff. The disengagement may signal a peaceful resolution between the two countries. China and India have been in a standoff for nine months as the troops from both countries have been engaged at the Pangong Lake in India’s Ladakh region. It is just one part of a shared but undefined border between both countries that runs for thousands of kilometers.
The trouble began last May after India accused Chinese troops of unilaterally entering the Indian Territory. Soon, both armies were facing off against each other at various points along the border. The tensions came to the fore when 20 Indian soldiers died in the clash with Chinese troops at one of these points. Since then, both the Indian and China armies have readily reinforced their positions and moved men and material to the border areas.
Pangong Lake Disengagement has no compromise of Indian Territory
The ministry of Defense India has also clarified that India has not conceded any territory as a result of an agreement with China. India’s defense minister also mentioned that the disengagement was the result of the “sustained talks” between the two countries.
Is this India-China Disengagement the real deal?
Many questions arose as India and China began their disengagement process, of whether this is a beginning of a peaceful restoration or will things return to a situation where India could face betrayal again.
There were synchronized announcements from Beijing on Wednesday, and the Indian Capital Delhi on Thursday, saying that there would be a disengagement of troops at either side, in the vicinity of the Pangong Lake. The high altitude lake in Ladakh is only one of the four places where Chinese troops intruded into Indian claimed territory that happened last April. Since that time, there have been various levels of confrontation going on.
India-Chinese tanks move away from the face-off site at Pangong Lake; the disputed part of their
The announcement of the agreement took place in respect of Pangong Lake. It is not clear whether these are official or understood announcements regarding this now or in the future or disengagement in the other places, but for now, one of the key areas where both countries’ troops were in contact, i.e., the Pangong Lake has witnessed disengagement from both sides as the tanks and troops pull back from their positions.
With no announcement about the disengagement from both sides, it is left only to predict what stands forth. One of the key areas where confrontation is taking place is the ‘Depsang Plains’ i.e. the northernmost areas of Ladakh, near the ‘Karakoram Pass’ where the Chinese troops have intruded about 15-18 km inside the Indian Territory. That’s a tense area because the Chinese believe that the Indians there are well poised to go and capture a strategic highway inside China that links their troubled provinces of Xinjiang and Tibet, and that makes the Chinese very sensitive to that area.
With the month’s long standoff, the India-China relations were also impacted on other stances. India took action against China at the economic level, diplomatic level, and international military level, which many experts believe could be the reason that the Chinese were forced to rethink at evaluating their position.