New Delhi (India), January 12 (ANI): Army chief General Manoj Mukund Naravane on Tuesday said that the Chinese troops deployed in their traditional training areas have gone back.
Speaking at the annual Army Day press conference, the Army chief said that there was not much to read into the withdrawal from depth areas but the places in Tibetan plateau.
"Every year People's Liberation Army (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 areas in Tibetan Plateau have gone back and that is the reduction in strength on the plateau," General Naravane said.
Stating that the depth areas can be anything between 500 to 1000 kms, the Army chief said that the Chinese infrastructure allows them to travel to the frontline in 24 to 48 hours.
ANI had broken the story on Monday that 10,000 troops in the depth areas have been moved back by the Chinese side probably due to the extreme winters in the Tibetan plateau.
"There has been no decrease in strength either on the Chinese side or our side as far as the friction points are concerned," he said.
"Talks (between India and China) will be used to address the issues on the basis of mutual and equal security. I am confident that we would be able to resolve the issue," the Army chief added.
General Naravane also said that there has been no change in status quo in Eastern Ladakh and asserted that both sides would be able to reach an agreement, which would result in disengagement and de-escalation.
"As far as the situation in Eastern Ladakh is concerned, the situation is the same as prevailing last year. There has been no change in the status quo. As far as the resolution of the present situation is concerned, we are hoping that based on the principle of mutual and equal security, we would be able to reach an agreement which would result in disengagement and deescalation, disengagement from the friction areas, and once de-escalation has been achieved then an overall de-escalation and a reduction in strength of the troops in the forward areas," he said.
"All along the northern borders, we have remained vigilant. Friction points are there in the central and eastern sectors of the LAC where China has developed infrastructure. We keep monitoring it and factor it in our strategy," he said. (ANI)