Amid border tensions between India and China, Army Chief General Manoj Mukund Naravane on Tuesday, January 12, said that there has been no decrease in the strength of troops either on the Chinese side or the Indian side along the Line of Actual Control (LAC), The Times Of India reported.
"Every year PLA troops come to traditional training areas. With winter and completion of the training period, training areas have been vacated. Fair to assume those troops who were in depth in Tibetan Plateau have gone back and that's the reduction in strength on the plateau," General Naravane said.
His statement comes a day after reports claimed that around 10,000 Chinese People's Liberation Army troops in Eastern Ladakh have pulled back from their positions near India.
The Chinese Army had deployed 50,000 troops on the Indian border since March-April last year. The troops have been withdrawn from the areas around 200 km from the Indian side, due to extreme temperature, India Today reported. The Indian side has also increased the strength of its troops to counter any further misadventure in Ladakh.
The two armies have been engaged in a standoff along the LAC since last year.
The tensions escalated after the Galwan Valley clash which claimed the lives of at least 20 Indian Army personnel and resulted in a large deployment of troops by both the armies in the friction points. The Chinese soldiers had used stones, nail-studded sticks, iron rods and clubs in attacking Indian soldiers.
Meanwhile, external affairs minister S Jaishankar, on Tuesday, said that the relationship between India and China has been "profoundly disturbed" by the first incident of bloodshed along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in 45 years, which had a "huge impact" on public opinion.
The deaths in Galwan Valley were the first fatalities on the LAC since four Indian soldiers were killed at Tulung La in Arunachal Pradesh in 1975. The minister said that Chinese aggressive actions along the LAC have violated several agreements for maintaining peace and tranquillity on the disputed border.
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