India, China troops pull back from border

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Indian and Chinese soldiers have begun pulling back from one of the key friction points on their disputed border as part of efforts to lower tensions in a more than two-year stand-off that has sometimes led to deadly clashes, India's defense ministry says.

"The Indian and Chinese troops in the area of Gogra-Hotsprings have begun to disengage in a co-ordinated and planned way, which is conducive to the peace and tranquility in the border areas," the ministry said in a statement.

The disengagement followed a 16th round of commander-level talks between the two countries in July, it said.

There was no immediate comment by the Chinese government.

There are three key friction points between the countries, at Depsang, Pangong and Gogra-Hotsprings.

Some disengagement of troops occurred last year from the Pangong Tso sector.

The two countries have stationed tens of thousands of soldiers backed by artillery, tanks and fighter jets along the de facto border, called the Line of Actual Control.

In June 2020, 20 Indian troops were killed in a clash with Chinese soldiers involving clubs, stones and fists along the disputed border.

China said it lost four soldiers.

The Line of Actual Control separates Chinese and Indian-held territories from Ladakh in the west to India's eastern state of Arunachal Pradesh, which China claims in its entirety.

India and China fought a war over the border in 1962.