India withdraws troops from disputed Himalayan region, defusing tension with China

India has begun withdrawing troops from a disputed Himalayan region on the border with China, foreign ministries from the two countries announced Monday, defusing a tense stand-off that had threatened to provoke armed conflict between the Asian rivals.

For the past two months, Indian and Chinese troops had faced off on a plateau in the Doklam area in Himalayas, after Indian troops moved in to prevent the Chinese military building a road into territory claimed by India’s close ally, Bhutan. 

China had repeatedly and furiously denounced the Indian move as a direct infringement of its sovereignty, demanded an immediate and unconditional withdrawal, and warned that conflict was a real possibility if that didn’t happen.

On Monday, the two sides announced they had reached an agreement. But it was unclear if Beijing offered any concessions in return, such as agreeing to halt the construction of the road. China said it only that it would redeploy its forces according to the changing situation but would continue to patrol the area.

In a short statement, India’s Ministry of External Affairs said the two countries had maintained diplomatic communication over the dispute in recent weeks.

“During these communications, we were able to express our views and convey our concerns and interests,” it said. “On this basis, expeditious disengagement of border personnel at the face-off site

Article source: https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/india-withdraws-troops-from-disputed-himalayan-region-defusing-tension-with-china/2017/08/28/b92fddb6-8bc7-11e7-a2b0-e68cbf0b1f19_story.html

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