India and China held a Border Personnel Meeting (BPM) last week to resolve the incident of road building by Chinese civilians at Tuting in Arunachal Pradesh.
“Tuting issue has been resolved. A border meeting was held two days back,” Army Chief Gen. Bipin Rawat said on Monday. He was speaking to the media on the sidelines of an Army-industry seminar on indigenisation.
In December last week, a group of Chinese civilians were noticed undertaking track alignment activity about one kilometre inside the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in Tuting area. On December 28, a joint team of Army and Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) stopped them and sent them back during which some civil construction equipment, including two excavators, were left behind. Officials had said that there was no face-off at the site.
There are five BPM points along the LAC at Bum La and Kibithu in Arunachal Pradesh, Daulat Beg Oldi and Chushul in Ladakh and Nathu La in Sikkim.
China cuts troops near Doklam
In a separate development, China has withdrawn a large part of its troops deployed near Doklam tri-junction in Chumbi valley.
“There is major reduction in the Chinese troop strength,” Gen. Rawat said in response to questions on the issue.
Last year, the two armies were engaged in a 73-day standoff at Doklam near the India-Bhutan-China tri-junction after Indian soldiers prevented Chinese from building a road in the disputed territory. After prolonged diplomatic negotiations, the two sides announced disengagement on August 28.
China, which does not have forces close to the LAC, had deployed additional soldiers near Doklam on its side which were not withdrawn even after the end of the standoff and their annual exercises in Chumbi valley. They also began bundling temporary facilities to sustain troops in the winter months.