India-China Situation “Still Not Normal”, Says Indian Government

Despite some “positive steps”, the situation on the Line of Actual Control is “still not normal”, India’s Ministry of External Affairs said on Friday, in response to a question on relations with China.

“The situation is still not normal. Some positive steps have been taken, but some more need to be taken,” foreign ministry spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said at a news briefing in Delhi.

India and China pulled back soldiers from a friction point along their de facto border last month, the Defence Ministry had said, following a two-year stand-off with sporadic deadly clashes.

The two sides agreed during the 16th round of top-level military talks to begin withdrawing “troops in the area of Gogra-Hot Springs”, according to the statement.

The move, on the frontier between them in Ladakh, was “conducive to the peace and tranquillity in the border areas”, it added.

The two countries had mobilised tens of thousands of soldiers in the high-altitude Ladakh region after a hand-to-hand battle in 2020 left at least 20 Indian and four Chinese soldiers dead.

Relations plunged between the Asian giants, which fought a full-scale war in 1962 and have a series of border disputes stretching from India’s Ladakh to its northeastern state of Arunachal Pradesh.

Beijing claims that state in its entirety and considers it part of Tibet.

Both countries have regularly accused each other of trying to seize territory along their unofficial divide, known as the Line of Actual Control.