India and China are withdrawing their troops from a dispute area

NEW DELHI, (BM) – India and China have agreed to withdraw troops from the disputed area near Pangong Tso Lake in the western Himalayas, Indian Defense Minister Rajnat Singh said on Thursday, learned BulgarianMilitary.com citing Defence24. This step is a real breakthrough after months of tension on the disputed section of the border.

Singh told parliament that India reached an agreement after several talks with military commanders and diplomats from India and China. Both sides have nuclear weapons. “Our expanded talks with China have led to an agreement to ease tensions on the northern and southern shores of Lake Pangong,” the minister was quoted as saying by Reuters. China’s defense ministry said troops from both sides began withdrawing from Lake Pangong Tso’s shores on Wednesday.

According to Singh, the Indian government said in communication with Chinese authorities that Chinese soldiers’ actions seriously disrupt peace in the region and damage bilateral relations. According to him, both sides should withdraw from their positions before moving forward in 2020.

After the troops leave the Pangong Tso Lake area, the commanders will meet within 48 hours to discuss troops’ withdrawal from other regions, the Indian minister said.

How did the conflict between India and China start in June, 2020?

On the night of June 15-16, 2020, clashes between the Indian and Chinese military occurred in the Galvan River area in the Union territory of Ladakh. According to Indian army sources cited by local media, both parties used no firearms – sticks and stones had used. At least 20 Indian soldiers were killed, 76 wounded; the Indian army sources also claim that about 45 Chinese soldiers were killed and injured.

The situation in Ladakh escalated after clashes took place in early May with about 250 Chinese and Indian soldiers. More than 100 people had injured on both sides. Subsequently, India and China said they were making efforts to maintain stability.

The Sino-Indian confrontation on the border

The stumbling block for the parties is ownership of the mountainous territories in the north of Kashmir and part of the Indian state of Arunachal Pradesh. This dispute became the cause of the border war in 1962, as a result of which a line of de facto control appeared in Aksaychin. Then India lost part of its lands in the Himalayas.

And although the parties entered into a settlement agreement, the claims still exist: China is still trying to control over 3.5 thousand square km in the Indian Arunachal Pradesh. India accuses Beijing of the illegal occupation of more than 43 thousand square km in Jammu and Kashmir.

Various skirmishes between Chinese and Indian border guards on the disputed land occur regularly. However, in May, they became incredibly intense due to the contingent’s buildup, first by Beijing and then by New Delhi.

Indo-Pakistani conflict for Kashmir

Since 1858, the territory of modern India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Myanmar was considered the colonial possession of Great Britain. In 1947, British India gained independence and was divided into two independent states: India and Pakistan. The main point of conflict between the two countries was the Kashmir region. It has become the disputed territory claimed by India, Pakistan and China.

After the first Indo-Pakistani war [1947-1949], Kashmir was divided into two controlled units. The ceasefire line [now called the “control line”] in Kashmir actually, but not legally, became the border between India and Pakistan.

The situation is aggravated by the fact that Kashmir has traditionally been a Muslim territory, and now the vast majority of the population are Muslims. After the uprising in Indian Jammu and Kashmir in 1980, the activities of terrorist organizations supporting the independence of the region increased dramatically.

Pakistan is interested in gaining control over all of Kashmir, because by doing so, it, among other things, gets a convenient transport route to its ally, China.

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