Pulling Back of Tanks Commences From Pangong Lake by both sides
This time, to their horror the Central Military Commission of China found out that their conscripts Army had bitten more then it could chew. Also the World found out that the Indian Armed Forces too could be a more tougher a negotiator than what the Chinese CMC thought of themselves.
So by the time the 9th round of Corps Commander level talks finished, the Chinese anxiety was way over its limit. Not only the PLA had been forced into a Winter deployment stretching resources and infrastructure in Occupied Tibet to the limit but it was also creating havoc within the ranks of a very reluctant, untrained and unprepared conscripts.
The Indian Army too had to deploy a matching force for the Winter no doubt but the all volunteer Indian Army personnel are mentally and physically prepared for deployment in such harsh terrain and climatic conditions.
Now finally some thaw seems to be taking place. It has commenced with the gradual thinning out of armoured elements from the heights on the southern bank of Pangong Tso as the first of be the steps towards resolving the nine-month military standoff that started in May last year
India and China have started pulling back armoured units – tanks and infantry combat vehicles – from heights on the southern bank of Pangong Tso. Though infantry troops will continue to hold positions on these strategic heights, till more concrete confidence building measures emerge. The Chinese defence ministry has though announced in Beijing that the troops had started to disengage along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) near the salt-water lake.
The reports of withdrawal of the armoured elements from one of the multiple friction points in the East Ladakh sector comes nearly a fortnight after military commanders of the two armies agreed on January 24 to push for an early disengagement of their frontline troops.
In a statement published on the Chinese defence ministry website on Wednesday, spokesperson Wu Qian said the frontline units of the Chinese and Indian armed forces have begun to disengage at Pangong lake on February 10 in line with the consensus reached at the 9th round of military commander-level talks.
The troops have begun to disengage “simultaneously and systematically”, Wu was quoted as saying in the statement.
The defence and external affairs ministries in New Delhi have not issued a statement on the movement of the armoured elements. This is seen as the first move towards resolving the nine-month military standoff that started in May last year.
The 9th round of China-India Corps Commander Level meeting was held on the Chinese side of the Moldo-Chushul border meeting point on January 24.
At the meeting, according to a joint release issued the following day, the two sides had “…agreed to push for an early disengagement of the frontline troops. They also agreed to follow the important consensus of their state leaders, maintain the good momentum of dialogue and negotiation, and hold the 10th round of the Corps Commander Level Meeting at an early date to jointly advance de-escalation.”
“The two sides agreed to continue their effective efforts in ensuring the restraint of the frontline troops, stabilise and control the situation along the LAC in the Western Sector of the China-India border, and jointly maintain peace and tranquillity”.