India’s army chief on Saturday claimed the situation along the China border was “under control” and that “a lot of” disengagement had taken place.
General M.M. Naravane expressed the hope that “through the continued dialogue, all perceived differences will be set to rest”.
His statement followed a week of conflicting claims by unnamed government sources about the situation on the China frontier in eastern Ladakh, where the two armies have been locked in a tense standoff at four locations since early May.
First, anonymous sources had claimed that Indian and Chinese troops had disengaged at three locations in Ladakh.
Later, unnamed sources said on Thursday that the Chinese army had ramped up its presence along the entire stretch of the Line of Actual Control, from Leh to Arunachal Pradesh, and deployed over 10,000 troops in the Ladakh sector alone.
“I would like to assure everyone that the entire situation along our borders with China is under control,” news agency ANI quoted Naravane as saying.
“We are having a series of talks which started (at) corps commander level and have been followed up with meetings at local levels between commanders of equivalent ranks.”
According to the report, Naravane also said: “As a result, a lot of disengagement has taken place and we are hopeful that through the continued dialogue we’re having, all perceived differences that we (India and China) have will be set to rest.”
Defence ministry sources said India’s army too had moved its troops forward recently along the 3,488km border in response to the Chinese build-up, amid the ongoing military and diplomatic talks.
They added that although multiple rounds of talks were scheduled between the two armies, India was still concerned about Chinese deployment on the border and that the Pangong Lake remained a bone of contention.
Chinese troops are said to have set up camps on Indian territory near the Pangong Lake.
Earlier this week, the Chinese foreign ministry had in its first official response to the standoff said that both armies had reached a “positive consensus”.
India’s external affairs ministry has asserted that both sides are committed to resolving the situation at the earliest.
Neither side has provided any details on the key standoff locations, especially the Pangong Lake.
Chinese troops are said to have entered the Finger 4 area near the Pangong Lake early last month, erected tents and hindered normal patrolling by Indian troops. Chinese build-ups have allegedly been witnessed also in other three locations: the Galwan Valley, Demchok and Daulat Beg Oldi.
The stalemate has left bilateral relations at their tensest since the 2017 Doklam deadlock at the tri-junction of India, China and Bhutan.