New Delhi: After their troops remained in ‘face-to-face’ situation for nearly three weeks, India and China have agreed to restore status quo along Line of Actual Control (LAC) in Western Sector as it existed prior to April 15, when Chinese intruded into Indian territory there. This has been finally confirmed by the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA).

Announcing this on Monday, an MEA spokesperson said that flag meetings were held to work out modalities and to confirm the arrangements.

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A platoon of Chinese troops estimated at about 50 and accompanied by vehicles and dogs had intruded 19 km inside the Indian territory across LAC in Daulat Beg Oldi sector on April 15 and set up five tents.

The Indian troops had also established tented posts facing the Chinese forces at a distance of 300 metres. The troops of the two sides had held four flag meetings, the last one being on Sunday. However, there was no positive outcome from these meetings, which went hand-in-hand with high-level diplomatic efforts to break the impasse.

An agreement was reached on Sunday for both sides to pull back their troops simultaneously from the face off point, which was completed at 1930 hours, sources said. Indian and Chinese commanders at the local level shook hands before withdrawing, they said.

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The face off in Ladakh had cast a shadow over the visit of External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid to China on May 9 to prepare the ground for the new Chinese Prime Minister Li Keqiang's visit to India from May 20.

Khurshid had told reporters on his way to Iran on May three that the progress in dialogue to end the stand off in Ladakh was not satisfactory. India would have liked a "much better response" from China, he had said and emphasized that it wanted reversal of the "adverse incident" in Ladakh and return to the status quo in Depsang Valley where the Chinese troops had intruded.

CHINA TACITLY ACKNOWLEDGES WITHDRAWAL OF TROOPS


Meanwhile, China tacitly acknowledged the withdrawal of its troops and said the "stand off incident" with India was resolved through "fruitful consultations", keeping the larger interests of bilateral relations in mind.
    
"Following the stand off incident at the border area, China and India with the larger interests of bilateral relations in mind have taken a cooperative and constructive attitude," Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said.
    
In her first comments after the decision of the two countries to withdraw troops from the Daulat Beg Oldi (DBO) area after a 20-day stand off, Hua said, "As far as I know relevant consultations have been fruitful". "We believe that maintaining peace and tranquillity in the border areas serve the common interests of the two sides. China is ready to join hands with the Indian side to seek a mutually acceptable and fair solution to the border question at an early date", she said.
    
Pressed for more details on the settlement, including dismantling of tents erected by the PLA, Hua said, "I need to follow closely the latest information". "As I said before the two sides bear in mind the larger interests of bilateral relations," she said.     

The two sides have taken a constructive and cooperative attitude and have maintained communication and consultation and made positive progress, Hua said. "I will share with you relevant information if I get the latest information," she said.
    
Asked whether the Chinese troops moved back from their position, when did that happen and how far they withdrew, she replied, "I have said the two sides have been constructive and cooperative and have been maintaining communications through relevant mechanism in the border regions"."Relevant consultations have made positive progress. I know you are very concerned about this and I must follow the information to tell you the correct information", Hua said.
    
"I believe the Chinese and Indian sides should maintain peace and tranquillity in the border areas and work for the smooth development of bilateral relations", she said.

Meanwhile, China tacitly acknowledged the withdrawal of its troops and said the "stand off incident" with India was resolved through "fruitful consultations", keeping the larger interests of bilateral relations in mind.
    
"Following the stand off incident at the border area, China and India with the larger interests of bilateral relations in mind have taken a cooperative and constructive attitude," Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said.
    
In her first comments after the decision of the two countries to withdraw troops from the Daulat Beg Oldi (DBO) area after a 20-day stand off, Hua said, "As far as I know relevant consultations have been fruitful". "We believe that maintaining peace and tranquillity in the border areas serve the common interests of the two sides. China is ready to join hands with the Indian side to seek a mutually acceptable and fair solution to the border question at an early date", she said.
    
Pressed for more details on the settlement, including dismantling of tents erected by the PLA, Hua said, "I need to follow closely the latest information". "As I said before the two sides bear in mind the larger interests of bilateral relations," she said.     

The two sides have taken a constructive and cooperative attitude and have maintained communication and consultation and made positive progress, Hua said. "I will share with you relevant information if I get the latest information," she said.
    
Asked whether the Chinese troops moved back from their position, when did that happen and how far they withdrew, she replied, "I have said the two sides have been constructive and cooperative and have been maintaining communications through relevant mechanism in the border regions"."Relevant consultations have made positive progress. I know you are very concerned about this and I must follow the information to tell you the correct information", Hua said. "I believe the Chinese and Indian sides should maintain peace and tranquillity in the border areas and work for the smooth development of bilateral relations", she said.

JPN/Agencies

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