India and China has reached on an agreement of disengagement at Pangong Tso in Ladakh. China’s defence ministry announced about it on yesterday. And today Defence Minister talked about it during his speech in Rajya Sabha. The agreement happened after several round of meeting between Indian and Chinese officials.
Rajnath Singh said, ”Our sustained talks with China have led to agreement on disengagement on the north and south banks of Pangong Lake. After this agreement, India-China will remove forward deployments in a phased, coordinated manner,” in his Rajya Sabha speech.
So before knowing about this agreement we should know, what happen last year at Pangong lake area! And now what in this agreement? How it will work? Let’s know about it all.
Last year’s standoff at Pangong Lake!
Basically, Pangong lake in Ladakh is a 10km region which comes under LAC. This region is divided into 8 fingers area. Both India and China claims their own perception of LAC to be right as it is demarcated. According to India, LAC is at Finger, while China claims that LAC is at Finger 4.
This resulted into standoff and skirmishes between India and China in May last year. Chinese soldiers positioned themselves at Finger 3 & 4 in North Banks, which according to India came under it’s region.
In late, August,2020 Indian soldiers gain strategic advantage in south banks of Pangong Tso. Indian soldiers positioned themselves at high mountains which gave them advantage to see China’s activities. This also gave power to Indian defence Ministry to bargain with China.
Read more about last year’s standoff between India & China’s soldiers at different areas in below article!
The Disengagement Agreement!
So according to statement by Rajnath Singh and China’s Defence Ministry, both sides will start disengaging themselves from Pangong lake area. Both sides will start positioning themselves till their agreed areas.
Both sides has started pulling back tanks from south region of Pangong lake. Pulling back of soldiers will happen in phased manner. Till now, soldiers have been positioned on friction area.
Rajnath Singh said that Chinese troops will move back till Finger 8 in North bank and Indian soldiers will come back till Finger 3 in north bank at it’s base Dhan Singh Thapa Post.
Both sides had agreed that area between Finger 3 and Finger 8 will be no-patrolling area temporarily till solution found.
Also, construction done by both sides on North & South bank after April, 2020 will be dismantle.
Statements by Rajnath Singh & China’s Defence Ministry on agreement!
Rajnath Singh – “China will pull its troops on the north bank towards the east of Finger 8. Similarly, India will also position its forces at its permanent base at the Dhan Singh Thapa post near Finger 3. Similar action will be taken by both the parties in the south bank area as well.”
“It is expected that this will restore the situation to before the standoff of last year.”
Chinese Defence Ministry–
“The Chinese and Indian frontline troops at the southern and northern bank of the Pangong Tso Lake start synchronized and organized disengagement from February 10.”
“This move is in accordance with the consensus reached by both sides at the 9th round of China-India Corps Commander Level Meeting.”
This agreement means Standoff issue resolved?
No, this agreement does not clears the issue at other different areas and north of Pangong lake. Rajnath Singh said that, ”there are still some outstanding issues that remain regarding deployment and patrolling on LAC”. He also mentioned that, ”our attention will be on these in further discussions”.
Rajnath Singh also stated that,” Both sides agree that complete disengagement under bilateral agreements and protocols should be done as soon as possible. After the talks so far, China is also aware of our resolve to protect the sovereignty of the country. It is our expectation that China will work with us seriously to resolve the remaining issues”.
So it is clear that this does not end the issues between India and China but will surely help for future talks. It will act as guide for India and China to resolve the remaining issues of different areas.
Thank you for reading!