India World

Indian and Chinese troops pullback from parts of disputed Himalayan border

Indian and Chinese troops began to pull back from parts of their disputed territory in the Himalayan border months after a deadly clash.

India’s defence minister said the move to withdraw troops in Ladakh was the result of “sustained talks” between the nuclear-armed neighbours.

His remarks came a day after a similar announcement from China.

Tensions have been high since the clash that left 20 Indian soldiers dead and a undisclosed number of Chinese fatalities.

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh told India’s parliament that since September, both sides had been communicating through military and diplomatic channels.

After nine rounds of meetings between senior military commanders, “we have been able to reach an agreement on disengagement in the north and south bank of the Pangong Lake,” he said.

Mr Singh told parliament that China had “mobilised a large number of troops and armaments” along the border in Ladakh, and had illegally occupied 38,000sq km of Indian territory in the region.

A spokesperson for the Chinese Ministry of National Defence said on Wednesday that a “synchronised and organised disengagement” from Pangong Tso lake had started. Colonel Wu Qian said the disengagement was in accordance with consensus reached by both sides at during military commander-level talks.

Relations between India and China have worsened in recent times. Both nations have stepped up infrastructure construction along the 3,440km long border.

The two countries fought only one war, in 1962, when India suffered a heavy defeat.