Chinese troops withdraw from Galwan valley but Indian Army is cautious. Here’s why?

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Chinese troops withdraw from Galwan valley but Indian Army is cautious. Here's why? - We The World Magazine

China has pulled back at least one kilometer in the tense Galwan Valley regions, according to senior Indian Army sources after physical verification of the region, multiple media reports confirm. But how far this move is worth celebrating, remains to be seen.

On 15th July 1962, a few months before the Sino-Indian war, China displayed a similar stance – their troops were withdrawn from the Galwan post. Indian media celebrated the notion with an appreciation for the Indian Jawans and that the “Delhi warning has telling effect.”

But within 7-8 months of the retracting show, the war broke out in November of the same year after the Chinese army invaded India from its eastern and western theater command. It was the first war between the two nations.

Newspaper cut-out dated 15th July 1952 reporting Chinese troops withdrawing the Galwan post, four months prior to the Sino-India war broke out shortly in November 1962. (Image courtesy of @veggiediplomat via Twitter)

The recent developments

Indian Army sources told media outlet WION that the recent withdrawal succeeds disengagement talks at commander-level of the two countries, which was agreed upon. However, the Indian Army sources further stated:

“We will need to wait to see if this is a lasting, genuine disengagement.” 

If reports are to be believed, the two nations have started the disengagement process after rounds of talks at high-level army officials in the past few days since the face-off. But memories of 1962 must fuel more caution than ever.

According to the sources, the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) of China started to pull-off tents, vehicles, and other military equipment hoarded in key flashpoints of Galwan Valley. However, heavily armored vehicles are still present in the area, the sources confirmed.

The two nations fought a bloody fisticuff that killed dozens of army on both sides in June 15h and both India and China increased troop-presence in the region following the face-off. Some 3k kilometers long LAC (Line of Actual Control) is a de facto border that passes through the high altitude region of Ladakh. The demarcated ‘border’ has been a matter of contention between the two nations since the Sino-India war of 1962.

Sources also confirm the Indian side has pulled back as well, and a buffer zone has been created in the contested region as of now, NDTV reports.

Repeated rounds of talks were followed between the two nations since the Galwan Valley incident took place on June 15th. In India, 20 soldiers lost their lives as a result of a bloody face-off without arms.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi recently gave a surprise visit in Ladakh valley to address thousands of troops and boost their morale, as tensions were escalating. He said addressing the soldiers: “the age of expansionism is over and expansionist forces have either lost or were forced to turn back.”

Image of galwan Valley region where 20 indian soldiers were killed by the PLA army. Courtesy of Maxar via the BBC

Previously, satellite images via space tech company Maxar of the disputed border showed the Chinese army had set up structures like bunkers, storage units, and tents overlooking the Galwan river. Images captured by Maxar one month before (on 22 March) did not show any such setups in the region.

Only time will unfold the rest. What do you think? let us know your thoughts in the comments below.