The pull-back of troops from part of their contested Himalayan frontier was completed by India and China, a joint statement released by the Indian Defense Ministry says.
On Saturday, soldiers completed their withdrawal from the area of Pangong Tso Lake, according to the communiqué.
Clashes on the badly marked border led to the deaths last June of 24 soldiers.
Both sides agree they would focus on other sections of the frontier, or Line of Actual Control, to cut tensions.
On 11 February, China and India declared their plan to withdraw their forces from the lake region, and on Saturday, commanders met to determine how the operation was going. The smooth conclusion of the disengagement of frontline troops in the Pangong Lake region was favorably evaluated by both sides, noting that it was a major move forward that offered a strong base for the settlement of issues along the LAC in Western Sector,” Sunday’s statement said.
Nine rounds of talks were held by commanders to get to this point.
The statement noted that other boundary sections remained strained and looked forward to ongoing negotiations.
“The two sides agreed to follow the important consensus of their state leaders, continue their communication and dialogue, stabilise and control the situation on the ground, push for a mutually acceptable resolution of the remaining issues in a steady and orderly manner, so as to jointly maintain peace and tranquillity in the border areas.”
India-China border conflict in 400 words clarified
Before the completed withdrawal round of Pangong Tso Lake, in the territories contested by both sides, troops from each side were deployed on the north and south shores.
Months of tension have heightened concerns that the continued deployment of thousands of troops to the Ladakh and Chinese-administered Aksai Chin regions could contribute to a worsening conflict.
For decades, India and China have been engaged in a boundary conflict and went to war in 1962. The boundary is 3,440km long and ill-defined (2,100 miles).
Along the frontier, rivers, lakes and snowcaps mean the line will change, with certain times putting soldiers face to face, causing conflict. However, both nations have a long-standing consensus that weapons or bombs can not be used near the border.
In January, in India’s Sikkim province, soldiers from both sides were wounded in a clash in the north-east.
In the June clash that took place in the Galwan Valley, 20 Indian troops were killed. Two days ago, China admitted that four of its soldiers died in an encounter. Stones and nail-studded clubs were allegedly part of the weapons used.
China said there was “fistfighting” involved in the incident.