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Is China Pulling back Its Troops After Weeks Of Stand-off?

Indian government sources said that China began pulling back troops from along its contested border with India on Monday. There has been an episode of the clash between the two countries last month in which 20 Indian soldiers were killed. Troops fought with rods and clubs on the night of June 15, with some falling to their deaths in the freezing waters of the Galwan river.

The Chinese military was seen dismantling tents and structures on Monday at a location in the Galwan Valley near the site of the latest clash, Indian government sources, who declined to be identified as they are not authorized to speak to the media, told Reuters news agency. The Reuter’s report added that the vehicles were seen withdrawing from the area, as well as at Hotsprings and Gogra – two other contested border zones.

India’s national security advisor Ajit Doval and Wang Yi, one of China’s top diplomats, had “a frank and in-depth exchange of views” on Sunday regarding the border, according to press briefing by both countries released today. Both sides said they had agreed to a significant disengagement of troops.

India’s note also said both sides had agreed to respect the existing Line of Actual Control (LAC) reflecting positions along the contested section of the border.

In response to a question about the China’s latest move to back off the troops from the contested area Zhao Lijian said both sides have been taking effective measures to disengage and ease the situation on the border.

“We hope India will meet China halfway and take concrete measures to carry out what both sides agreed to, continue to closely communicate through diplomatic and military channels, and work together to cool down the situation at the border,” Zhao told a news conference on Monday.

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