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Seeking to end the dangerous military impasse, India and China are formulating a plan that involves the establishment of no-patrol zones, the withdrawal of tanks and artillery, and the use of drones to verify the withdrawal of forces, according to Indian officials.
After months of choppy progress, the two sides are discussing a phased disengagement from the high-altitude desert where temperatures have dropped to 18 degrees below Celsius, three Indian government officials said.
“We have a firm disengagement plan on the table, it is being discussed internally on both sides,” said one of the officials, speaking on condition of anonymity due to the sensitivity of the situation.
As part of the plan that was shared at a meeting of senior commanders last Friday, the two sides will withdraw from the Pangong Tso Lake area and establish a buffer zone.
Chinese soldiers will dismantle defense structures on several hilly spurs overlooking the lake and withdraw, officials briefed on the talks said.
India, which has occupied heights on the southern shore of the lake, will also withdraw. Both camps will cease patrolling certain sections.
The 3,800 km-long Indo-Chinese border is not demarcated and the two countries went to war in 1962.
Although there have been recurring incidents over the years, troops on both sides have largely followed a long-standing protocol to avoid firing guns at the border at high altitudes, although warning shots have been issued. drawn in September.