This was however, not corroborated by the Indian government in New Delhi with two people familiar with the development saying that the situation on the ground has remained the same for almost two weeks
NEW DELHI: Indian and Chinese troops along their common border in Ladakh have "completed" disengagement at most locations, a senior Chinese official said on Tuesday, adding the situation on the ground is easing.
This was however, not corroborated by the Indian government in New Delhi with two people familiar with the development saying that the situation on the ground has remained the same for almost two weeks.
According to a PTI report from Beijing, Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin said the situation was easing when he was asked whether the border troops from India and China have completed the disengagement from Galwan, Gogra and Hot Springs areas in eastern Ladakh. The question put by a Chinese reporter did not refer to a fourth friction point ie Pangong Tso, the PTI report said.
In his remarks, Wang said that China and India had recently conducted "intensive communication through military and diplomatic channels."
“Now the frontline border troops have completed disengagement in most locations and the situation on the ground is easing," Wang said, according to the PTI report.
“We have held four rounds of commander level talks and three meetings of Working Mechanism for Consultation and Coordination (WMCC)," Wang said referring to dialogue at the military and diplomatic levels to defuse tensions in the weeks after the buildup of troops along the Line of Actual Control in Ladakh since early May.
“Now we are preparing for the fifth round of commander level talks to study the settlement of the remaining issue. We hope India will work with China to implement our consensus and uphold peace and stability along our border areas," he added.
On Friday, at the conclusion of the last round of the WMCC talks, India had said that a further round of talks at the level of senior commanders would be scheduled to find a way out of the current impasse on disengagement and de-escalation.
According to New Delhi, Chinese troops who have taken up positions on the heights of Finger 4 on the banks of the Pangong Tso lake were not budging though some troops who were at the foot of the mountains had moved back to Finger 5. Fingers refer mountain folds jutting into the Pangong Tso lake. India holds territory upto Finger 4 and used to patrol upto Finger 8 while Chinese troops used to patrol upto Finger 4 but hold territory upto Finger 8.
Chinese troops were also to complete the process of a pullback that they had agreed to previously at Patrolling Point 17A while the two sides had established a buffer zone at Patrolling Points 14 and 15.
India’s demand has been that the Chinese withdraw to positions they were holding before May when the intrusions first began.
The tension in eastern Ladakh escalated after a violent clash in the Galwan Valley on 15 June in which 20 Indian Army personnel were killed. The Chinese side also suffered casualties but it is yet to give out the details.