Chinese troops ‘leaving’ valley

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Indian army sources said Chinese soldiers were seen dismantling tents and other structures in the contested Galwan Valley in Ladakh, the scene of deadly hand-to-hand fighting last month 2020. PLANET LABS, INC./AFP

Chinese troops have started removing tents and other structures from a contested Himalayan valley where they fought a deadly battle with Indian soldiers last month, Indian army sources said on Monday.

Twenty Indian soldiers were killed in brutal hand-to-hand combat on June 15 in the Galwan Valley in Ladakh, sending tensions soaring between the nuclear-armed neighbours. China has acknowledged it suffered casualties but has not given figures.

The two sides have since held military and diplomatic talks and said they want a negotiated settlement.

China’s People’s Liberation Army soldiers were “seen removing tents and structures” and there was a “rearward movement” of military vehicles in the Galwan Valley, the Indian army source said.

Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said on Monday that both sides had made “positive progress to disengage frontline troops and ease the border situation”.

“We hope the Indian side will go with the Chinese side to implement the consensus reached by both sides with practical actions,” Zhao said.

The Galwan Valley incident was the first time in 45 years that soldiers had died in combat on the long-disputed border. India and China fought a war over the frontier in 1962.