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Border stand-off: India and China hold farewell flag meeting

The meeting is said to have started at about 1.30 pm and have continued for about “two-three hours”.

By: Express News Service | New Delhi |
October 1, 2014 1:04:45 am

Indian and Chinese troops held a flag meeting at Spanggur gap on Tuesday, the day Chinese troops were supposed to withdraw their positions along the Line of Actual Control.

The meeting is said to have started at about 1.30 pm and have continued for about “two-three hours”.

Meanwhile, sources said that a few Chinese troops were still present at Chumar on Tuesday.

A Defence Ministry official, however, said that the “withdrawal is more or less complete”, that the troops left behind were “small in number” and that he had “no doubt that the remaining troops will also withdraw”.

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The Chumar stand-off which began on September 10 concluded on September 26 after External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj met her Chinese counterpart in New York. As per the plan chalked out in the subsequent flag meeting along the LAC, the troops were supposed to withdraw to their “pre-September 10 positions” by Tuesday.

Sources said that Demchok — another area where the Chinese civilians had pitched tents — too had a few Chinese troops during the stand-off. “But the Chinese troops from Demchok have withdrawn completely,” said an official.

“Normally, flag meetings are not required to be held on such days when both the sides are withdrawing. They are a mechanism to break the deadlock and not the means to ensure that both sides are withdrawing,” said a source.

The sources added that the Chinese side had raised concerns regarding a post constructed by the Indian side, a concern that stayed even till the day of their withdrawal.

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