Satellite tv for pc imagery exhibits China emptying navy camps on the border crossing with India By Reuters

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From Devjyot Ghoshal

NEW DELHI (Reuters) – China has dismantled dozens of structures and moved vehicles to empty entire warehouses along a controversial Himalayan border where Indian and Chinese forces have been fighting each other since last summer. This is shown by satellite images that were published on Wednesday.

The nuclear-armed neighbors announced a plan last week to withdraw troops, tanks and other equipment from the shores of Pangong Tso, a glacial lake in the Ladakh region that has become a focus of the ongoing border dispute.

Satellite images of some areas on the north bank of Pangong Tso on Tuesday, courtesy of Maxar Technologies (NYSE :), show that several Chinese military camps seen there in late January have been removed.

“Similar measures are also taking place on our part,” an Indian official in New Delhi, who asked for anonymity as he was authorized to speak to the media, told Reuters.

Indian Defense Minister Rajnath Singh told parliament that both sides had agreed to “step by step, coordinate and review” the withdrawal of Pangong Tso troops. After that, the military commanders would discuss ending the stalemate in other parts of the Ladakh border.

Tensions along the height line increased in April when India accused Chinese forces of invading its side of the line of effective control, the de facto border. China denied the claim, saying it was operating in its own territory.

But the confrontation turned in June when 20 Indian soldiers and an unknown number of Chinese troops were killed in clashes in the Ladwan region of Galwan – the first such casualties along the 3,500 km border in decades.

Despite several subsequent rounds of diplomatic and military talks, India and China were only able to agree on an agreement in February, which made the ongoing first phase of the withdrawal critical.

“What is happening now is that troops, particularly north and south of Pangong Tso, have been in eyeball to eyeball contact, stepping back to ease tension and pave the way for further de-escalation,” the Indian official said.

Videos and images released earlier this week by the Indian Army also showed Chinese troops dismantling bunkers and tents and pulling out tanks, soldiers and vehicles as part of the retreat process.

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