New Delhi: In what could come as a dampener to China’s optimistic assessment, India on Thursday stated that the process of disengagement of troops in eastern Ladakh had “not yet been completed”.
On Tuesday, the Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson had stated that the Indian and Chinese troops had disengaged in most locations in eastern Ladakh, where they have been involved in a stand-off for nearly three months. This was reiterated on Thursday by the Chinese ambassador to India, Sun Weidong, at a webinar.
“With the joint efforts of both sides, the border troops have disengaged in most localities. The situation on the ground is deescalating and the temperature is coming down,” he stated.
The Indian appraisal of the situation was much more restrained.
“There has been some progress made towards this objective but the disengagement process has yet not been completed,” Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Anurag Srivastava told reporters at the weekly briefing, in answer to a query about China’s claim.
He reiterated that the maintenance of peace and tranquility in the border areas is the “basis of our bilateral relationship”.
“Therefore, we expect that the Chinese side will sincerely work with us for complete disengagement and de-escalation and full restoration of peace and tranquility in the border areas at the earliest as agreed to by the Special Representatives,” he added.
He also said the senior commanders of the two militaries will be meeting in the “near future” to work out steps to complete the process of disengagement.
In Beijing, the spokesperson of the Chinese defence ministry Senior Colonel Ren Guoqiang stated that China and India have conducted effective communication and coordination through both diplomatic and military channels since the violent Galwan valley clash on June 15.
“At present, the situation in this region tends toward de-escalation, and the disengagement between the border troops of the two countries is gradually carried forward,” he said.