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India, China commence troop withdrawal from Ladakh

India and China started withdrawing soldiers from a point of friction along their border on Thursday, said the New Delhi Ministry of Defense, after a two-year stalemate with sporadic deadly clashes.

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Both sides agreed during the 16th round of high-level military talks to begin withdrawing “troops in the area of Gogra-Hot Springs”, according to the statement.

The move, on the border between them in Ladakh, was “conducive to peace and tranquility in the border areas”, he added.

Beijing did not immediately comment, though New Delhi released the announcement in the form of a joint declaration.

Both countries mobilised tens of thousands of soldiers in the disputed Ladakh region, after a medieval-style hand-to-hand battle in 2020 that killed 20 Indians and four Chinese soldiers.

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Relations plunged between the Asian giants, who fought a full-scale war in 1962 and have a series of frontier clashes ranging from Ladakh to Arunachal Pradesh.

Beijing asserts that it is an integral part of Tibet.

The two countries have repeatedly accused each other of attempting to take over territory along their unofficial dividing line, known as the Line of Actual Control.

Last year, the rivals announced a similar withdrawal of their troops from the Pangong Lake region, on the disputed Ladakh border, but other sticking points remain.

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