Summer retreat
THE WEEK|February 28, 2021
Even as disengagement progresses in eastern Ladakh, India will have to be wary of China’s intentions post-winter
PRADIP R. SAGAR

WITHIN HOURS of Defence Minister Rajnath Singh’s statement in Parliament on military disengagement in eastern Ladakh, the Indian Army released a video showing Chinese T96 tanks pulling back from Rechen La, Mukhpari and Spanggur Gap. India also pulled back its T90 and T72 tanks and infantry combat vehicles from the same locations. Singh said that the agreement for disengagement envisages both sides ending forward deployment in a “phased, coordinated and verified manner”.

He said that India did not cede territory as a part of this agreement and added that outstanding problems, including those at Hot Springs, Gogra and Depsang Plains, are to be taken up within 48 hours of the completion of the disengagement. The 10th round of military talks is expected next week, after complete disengagement. Structures built by both sides on the banks of Pangong Tso since April are to be removed; China is yet to declare this publicly, though. Moreover, going by the statement issued by Senior Colonel Wu Qian, spokesperson, Chinese ministry of national defence, the Chinese are also staying silent about the other friction points.

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