Himalaya pullout brings peace to India-China ties
NEW DELHI - Reuters
An Indian soldier keeps vigilance on the India-China border. The two countries have started to withdraw troops from a disputed area in the Himalayas. AFP photoIndia and China simultaneously withdrew troops from camps a few meters apart in a Himalayan desert on May 5, apparently ending a three-week standoff on a freezing plateau where the border is disputed and the Asian giants fought a war 50 years ago.
The two sides stood down after reaching an agreement during a meeting between border commanders, an Indian army official told Reuters, after the tension threatened to overshadow a planned visit by India’s foreign minister to Beijing this week. But it was not immediately clear how far China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA) soldiers had withdrawn.
Vague de facto line
New Delhi had claimed they were 19 kilometers beyond the point it understands to be the border with China, a vaguely defined de facto line called the Line of Actual Control, which neither side agrees on. India considered it the worst border incursion for years. New Delhi often appears insecure about relations with its powerful neighbor, despite slowly warming relations between Asia’s largest countries. China is India’s top trade partner, but the unresolved border sours the friendship. India’s opposition and much of the media has been critical of the government’s handling of the standoff, drawing parallels with a 1962 war which ended in its humiliating defeat.