China and India agree on withdrawal of troops in border conflict

China and India have agreed on the withdrawal of troops from the border area between the countries of the Himalayan Mountains. This should reduce tension in the area, the foreign ministers of the countries stated in a joint press release.

Ministers Jaishankar (India) and Wang (China) met last night in the Russian capital Moscow during a summit of Asian countries. Speaking for more than two hours, they agreed that the tension is to no ones advantage, that “differences should not lead to disputes” and that they will continue to talk in the future to safeguard “peace and tranquillity” in the border areas.

Exactly how many troops are to be withdrawn and when this is to be done is not clear. In some places along the border, Indian and Chinese troops are in a kind of stalemate a few hundred metres from each other.

Short war

The border conflict between the superpowers goes back to a short war in 1962 that was lost by India. Since then, both China and India have been claiming areas on either side of the approximately 3,500 kilometre-long border.

The conflict between China and India is part of a trend, says correspondent Sjoerd den Daas. China is acting more and more assertive worldwide

In recent months, the northern Indian region of Ladakh, an inhospitable and sparsely populated area, has been particularly troubled.

Only last week, the countries accused each other of firing warning shots at each other, in violation, for the first time in decades, of the agreement between the countries not to use firearms at the borders.

Earlier in June, at least 20 Indian soldiers were killed in a confrontation. It is unknown whether Chinese casualties also occurred. The troops are said to have attacked each other with iron bars and stones.