By Sanjeev Miglani | Reuters
NEW DELHI, India, 21 February 2021
Indian and Chinese troops have completed a pullout from a lake area on their disputed border in the western Himalayas, setting the scene for disengagement at other friction points, the two countries said on Sunday.
Thousands of soldiers have been facing off since April on the Line of Actual Control (LAC), or the de facto border, including at the glacial Panggong lake.
Earlier this month, military commanders agreed to begin pulling out troops, tanks and artillery in a first step towards full withdrawal.
On Saturday, the two commanders met to review the pullout.
“The two sides positively appraised the smooth completion of disengagement of frontline troops in the Panggong Lake area noting that it was a significant step forward that provided a good basis for resolution of other remaining issues along the LAC in Western Sector,” a joint press release said.
The deployment in the remote area that falls in India’s Ladakh region and adjoins the Chinese-administered Aksai Chin plateau had raised fears of a broader conflict between the two countries.
A clash erupted in the Galwan Valley in June, when 20 Indian soldiers were killed in the first combat losses on the disputed border in more than four decades. China said this week it lost four soldiers in the fighting.
Troops remain in close proximity on other parts of the undefined border including at Hot Springs, Gogra Post and the Depsang plains, officials said. The commanders had a candid and in-depth exchange of views on the situation on the border, the two countries said in the press release.
“The two sides agreed to follow the important consensus of their state leaders, continue their communication and dialogue, stabilize and control the situation on the ground, push for a mutually acceptable resolution of the remaining issues in a steady and orderly manner, so as to jointly maintain peace and tranquillity in the border areas,” they said.
India and China fought a war in 1962 and the border remains undefined. India said Chinese troops had intruded deep into its side of the LAC last April, triggering the most serious stand-offs in decades.
China denied its troops had transgressed the LAC and accused Indian border guards of provocative behaviour.
Thank you Mr. Hri for sharing your input on the dispute between China and India, which is illuminating at a time when global denizens are confronted and confounded, with many political issues emanating in the labyrinth of political juggernaut.
We always think why India is shy about speaking up for Tibet? We have been nursing this hope for over six decades but nothing much has happened.
The reason is simple. India has bartered Tibet with Sikkim. The moment India raises the question of Tibet, the Chinese will in no time raise their oft repeated assertion that Sikkim was an independent nation until India annexed it.
If Sikkim was an independent nation, it goes without saying that Tibet was undoubtedly an independent nation as well but both Tibet and Sikkim have been invaded and conquered by the two larger neighbours.
Sikkim was a protectorate of British India but Tibet and China were allies and didn’t involve any political subordination. The priest-patron relationship was on equal terms as two sovereign nations. This concept was unique between Tibet and China much like the Vatican and the Italian State. Tibet had sovereign authority and jurisdiction of its dominion.
The Chinese twisted the relationship with political connotations and claimed Tibet but it has not an iota of truth. Tibet was never ruled by China until the military occupation and never paid a cent of tax to China.
India being a weaker power than China, accepted Chinese claims despite Chinese disregard for India’s sensitivity on Kashmir and Arunachal Pradesh.
The Indians know that if Tibet is free from Chinese occupation, it will be a great security cordon for them but because of the power balance, they can’t afford to irk the Chinese. They believe and its true that if war breaks out in the high Himalayas, India will be alone to face China.
But given the chance, India will not hesitate to support Tibet for its own national security just like it helped to liberate Bangla Desh in 1971 from brutal Pakistani military rule.
While China and India are peacefully settling their differences in the Pangong Lake area, it would also be judicious for India — to broach on the newly built many villages by China — on the disputed territory in Arunachal Pradesh. Certainly, India now has its hands full dealing with infringement on its real estate, and serendipitously the status of the 1914 Tibet must be cogitated.