Amid rising tensions at the contested Himalayan border between China and India, both sides' foreign ministers have agreed to a ceasefire and will disengage their troops stationed in the region.
A ceasefire between conflicting nations
The meeting and joint statement between the two parties come after several months of heightened conflicts between the two militaries, including a brutal brawl in June that is considered to be the deadliest confrontation between the two sides since 1962.
According to the Wall Street Journal, this week marked another incident where the two countries' governments accused each other of firing their weapons towards the other side for the first time in decades.
Commanders of both the Chinese and Indian military and their diplomats have personally met several dozen times after the clash in June. The officials repeatedly called for mutual disengagement of troops and withdrawing from the border.
However, both sides continued to reinforce their territories and have moved to support their forces deployed along the Himalayan border. The two governments argued that their decision to increase their presence in the area is due to the other side violating agreements set forth during discussions.
The incident this week saw both countries accuse each other of invading territory that they controlled. Both Chinese and Indian governments claimed that the other side fired warning shots, which were direct violations of a previous agreement.
The continuous dispute is also a result of the two sides not having a clear and precise border where each of their territories end. The military of both countries periodically sends troops to patrol along the border.
Easing of tensions
The joint statement wrote that both foreign ministers have agreed that the situation in the disputed Himalayan border areas was a disadvantage for both sides. The agreement has both countries recall their troops from the region, quickly disengage, and maintain sufficient distance from each other to east tensions, as reported by Aljazeera.
A former leader from the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), Chering Dorjay Lakrook, told reporters that the easing of tensions at the Himalayan borders is good for both sides. However, Lakrook remained cautiously optimistic because of China's notorious untrustworthiness.
Lakrook said that China is going along with the proposition to buy itself time to fortify its position along the line of actual control. The official added the agreement is only a facade before the Chinese government decides to go back to its April 2020 position.
Several Indian defense analysts shared similar worries, citing previous agreements that have been made during military-level talks between the two countries that ended in failure to de-escalate the most brutal conflicts along the border in the last five decades.
According to The New York Times, a strategic studies professor at the Center for Policy Research, Brahma Chellaney from New Delhi, said the statement was nothing new. He noted a similar pledge both sides announced in June, which directly addressed the Indian government's accusations that China has moved to seize new territory within the region.