Chinese PLA Withdraws 10,000 Soldiers From LAC Depth Areas In Eastern Ladakh

Defence experts cite that this move is however not to be taken as a de-escalation by the Chinese side as 40,000 of its frontline troops still remain deployed as earlier

Raghav N

January 12, 2021

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China has reportedly withdrawn around 10,000 soldiers from the depth areas on its side of the Line of Actual Control (LAC). The remaining 40,000 troops of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) however remain in the frontline high-altitude locations. Sources suggest that the extraction spans around 200 kms from the eastern Ladakh region over which the Xi Jinping government had locked horns with India in June 2020.

While the reason for this step by the neighbouring country remains unclear for now, defence experts and army personnel suggest that the harsh weather conditions where temperatures are as low as minus 35 degrees during winters forced this decision upon China. This is however not a cause of celebration for India as this does not seem like a de-escalation by the PLA. Its front-line army remains status quo on the border as it has been for the past 9 months.

In June last year, members of the Chinese military transgressed into the Indian side of eastern Ladakh that led to a violent hand fight with the Indian army stationed in the high-altitude region. With over eight rounds of military and diplomatic level talks between the two nations, no consensus was reached, with China refusing to disengage its men from the disputed LAC areas. Anticipating that the tensions would not be resolved easily, both the countries deployed close to 50,000 soldiers at the front locations for the long winter haul. The rival governments also agreed in November to not escalate the situation further and let it remain status quo till a resolution comes through.

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