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China to complete physical withdrawal of all troops from Galwan Valley


China to complete physical withdrawal of all troops from Galwan Valley

China Reuters
Photo: Reuters

China will today withdraw its troops from Ladakh, the disputed territory in the Western Himalayan mountains between China and India-administered Kashmir.

The withdrawal comes after a violent clash between the two nuclear-armed nations, which took place on June 15 in the Galwan Valley of eastern Ladakh and left 20 Indian soldiers dead; China has not disclosed information on casualties.

Prior to the clash, China allegedly sent thousands of troops into the disputed region and built up bunkers on the banks of the Galwan river. The manoeuvre was thought to be motivated in part by India’s construction of a new road along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in Ladakh, seen by China as an attempt to both develop infrastructure and aggravate Beijing. Commanders of the two armies now plan to meet “soon” to discuss the complete disengagement of troops along the LAC.

Although the move to disengage offers momentum to repair Sino-Indian relations in the short-term, expect regional tensions to simmer. China’s ongoing Belt and Road Initiative projects in the region with Indian rival Pakistan have further angered New Delhi, which may turn to look to increase joint military exercises in the Indian Ocean with foreign partners, including the US.

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