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China-India border standoff ends: India pulls troops from disputed area

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The border dispute between China and India ended Monday (August 28, 2017) as India agreed to China's demand to pull out troops from the disputed Doklam territory.

India said on Monday it had agreed with China to pull back troops to end a months-long face-off along a disputed Himalayan region.

A statement issued by external-affairs ministry spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said the "expeditious disengagement of border personnel" that both sides had agreed on had "been almost completed under verification".

Kumar said the two sides had diplomatic exchanges in recent weeks over the situation on Doklam plateau in the eastern Himalayas that allowed them "to express our views and convey our concerns and interests".

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Spokesperson Kumar noted that the two sides had agreed on the margins of the SCO Summit in June that "differences should not be allowed to become disputes and that India-China relations must remain stable.

"Our principled position is that agreements and understandings reached on boundary issues must be scrupulously respected," he added.

Chinese statement

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Soon after India announced the disengagement, the Chinese foreign ministry said, "Chinese personnel on the ground have verified" that Indian forces withdrew to their side of the border on Monday afternoon.

"In the light of the changes of the situation on the ground, China will make necessary adjustment and deployment," China's foreign-ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying told a daily news briefing.

Chinese forces will continue to patrol Doklam - a region disputed between Bhutan and China - to exercise the country's sovereignty and uphold territorial integrity, she said.

China had repeatedly said India must withdraw its troops before any proper negotiation takes place. India said both sides should withdraw their forces together.

Withdrawal of Indian troops from the disputed territory puts a lid on one of the most serious disputes between the nuclear-armed neighbors who share a 3,500-km mountain frontier that remains undemarcated in most places, Hindustan Times said, adding: "It came days before Prime Minister Narendra Modi travels to China to attend a summit of BRICS, a grouping that also includes Brazil, Russia and South Africa."

Speaking from China's capital, Beijing, Al Jazeera's Adrian Brown said that the "high-stakes, high-altitude problem" was over for now. "This dispute has been going on for 55 years but China is making it clear that it is not giving up its historical claims," he said. "It says it wants to work with India to maintain peace but it said India must respect China's historical borders."

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China-India border Standoff

India and China have been locked in a standoff over the Doklam plateau for over two months now.

The dispute began in June, when Indian soldiers stopped Chinese troops from constructing a road in the border region. India claimed the construction in the region will seriously affect the security in the tri-junction and the sensitive Chicken Neck that connects the northeast with mainland India.

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Author and journalist. Author of Islamic Pakistan: Illusions & Reality; Islam in the Post-Cold War Era; Islam & Modernism; Islam & Muslims in the Post-9/11 America. Currently working as free lance journalist. Executive Editor of American (more...)
 

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