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Moves by India, China ease border tensions

New Delhi: India and China are continuing with their diplomatic and military engagements in an effort to reduce border tensions in eastern Ladakh to ensure long-term peace in the area, the Ministry of External Affairs said on Thursday.

“Both sides are maintaining their military and diplomatic engagements to peacefully resolve the situation at the earliest to ensure peace and tranquility in border areas,” Anurag Srivastava, the MEA spokesperson said, Hindustan Times reported.

A day earlier, on Wednesday, army delegations from both countries held talks in eastern Ladakh to ease tensions along the contested Line of Actual Control (LAC) where Indian and Chinese soldiers have been locked in a standoff for more than five weeks now.

The delegations led by senior army officials met at Patrolling Point 14 near Galwan as part of continuing efforts to resolve the border confrontation.

Border tensions have eased slightly in the area over the last few days, after both sides agreed to limited disengagement of their soldiers along the Line of Actual Control.

After Indian defence officials said Chinese troops were observed to have “thinned” out in at least four stand-off points, China on Wednesday said that “actions” were being taken by both sides in line with an “agreement” reached with India to “ameliorate the border situation”.

Wednesday’s meeting in eastern Ladakh was the fourth round of talks between the two countries to break the standoff that had begun with a violent confrontation between rival patrols near Pangong Tso on the night of May 5.

In an encouraging move, China has started withdrawing its soldiers from three hotspots along the contested LAC, with India pulling back its army unit deployed in those pockets.

Around 250 soldiers of the two armies clashed near Pangong Tso last month with the scuffle leaving many soldiers injured. Although an immediate conflict was avoided as both armies stuck to protocols, tensions rapidly spread to other pockets along the Line of Actual Control.

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