Sept. 9 (UPI) — China and India said on Friday they have started to disengage along the Sino-India border in the western Himalayas, where both sides have been locked in a standoff for the past two years.
The standoff exploded in 2020 when Chinese and Indian forces became locked in combat that killed 20 Indian soldiers and four Chinese soldiers.
China confirmed the disengagement process of front-line troops along its Patrol Point-15 area in eastern Ladakh. The move was the result of the 16th round of military talks conducted at the level of the India-China Corp Commanders, which was held in July.
“[The two sides had] reaffirmed that the resolution of remaining issues would help in the restoration of peace and tranquility along the [line of actual control] in the western sector and enable progress in bilateral relations,” the Chinese Defense Ministry said according to the Hindustan Times.
India’s Defense Ministry said on Thursday that troops had started to disengage from the area of Gogra-Hotsprings “in a coordinated and planned way, which is conducive to peace and tranquility in the border areas,” according to Voice of America.
The western Himalayan border, where both countries fought the Sino-Indian War in 1962, had not seen a deadly conflict there since 1975.
The military stand-down came ahead of the regional Shanghai Cooperation Organization summit next week in Uzbekistan, where Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping are scheduled to attend.
Some expect the two leaders to meet on the sidelines of the summit, which would be their first since the deadly 2020 encounter.