New Delhi: India and China have agreed to carry on with winter deployment along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in Eastern Ladakh, which will see reduction in troops, and aim to work out a plan ahead of the summer so that there is no surge in soldiers and equipment then, ThePrint has learnt.
Sources in the defence and security establishment said that during the 20th round of military talks held 9-10 October, both sides also agreed to not carry out any provocative action during the winter months and to be in close communication with each other.
The sources said that one more round of talks will be held during the winter to cater to the summer deployment plans.
Owing to the extreme climate in winters, they said, the number of troops deployed in the region are scaled down by both countries with minimum troops at the front. While some are pulled back to depth areas, others move out completely. During the summer, troops are brought back into operational areas.
“The plan is to reach an understanding during the next round of talks to not bring back additional troops during summers,” a source said.
At present, both India and China have nearly 50,000 troops and equipment deployed on each side. During winters, the number of deployed soldiers comes down drastically.
As reported by ThePrint earlier, the Indian Air Force (IAF) ferried in over 68,000 additional troops along with nearly 90 tanks and over 300 infantry combat vehicles into the icy heights of Ladakh after the Galwan clash of 2020.
Since then despite disengagement from the Galwan Valley, Pangong Tso, Gogra (PP-17A) and Hot Springs (PP-15), the two armies continue to maintain thousands of troops and equipment along the LAC.
India has been seeking restoration of status quo as of April 2020 in areas which saw tensions beginning May 2020, besides resolution of earlier disagreements including those over Depsang Plains. (ThePrint)