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China, India agree to disengage controversial Himalayan border

After several months of face-off, Indian and Chinese military commanders have agreed to disengage forces fighting to protest each country’s interest over a disputed stretch of border.

Before the agreement, atleast 20 Indian soldiers died and several others injured during a face-off between both parties over control of the border between both countries.

Speaking in Beijing on Tuesday, Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said the two sides had agreed to take measures to ease tensions over the border.

“There was a mutual consensus to disengage,” the Indian source said, commenting on the outcome of a meeting between commanders on border on Monday that lasted almost 11 hours.

China has not disclosed how many casualties its side suffered in the brutal fighting on June 15, when soldiers beat each other with rocks and wooden sticks embedded with nails, while observing a long-held protocol to avoid using firearms.

Troops from the nuclear-armed neighbours have been facing-off in several areas in the Ladakh region in the western Himalayas since last month, and the clash in the Galwan valley last week was the deadliest in more than five decades.

Yet, the Indian source said Monday’s parley on the Chinese side of the Line of Actual Control (LAC), the de facto border, was conducted in a “cordial, positive and constructive atmosphere.”

“Modalities for disengagement from all friction areas in Eastern Ladakh were discussed and will be taken forward by both the sides,” the Indian source said.

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