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India, China to pull back troops from border confrontation

29 August 2017

"It was triumph of diplomacy as both India and China, being great powers, agreed to settle issue with dialogue & discussion".

When Chinese soldiers began building the road in mid-June, Indians troops intervened to stop them because the road would give Beijing access to a strategic wedge of land that links mainland India to its northeastern region. India doesn't claim the territory in question, known as the Dolam Plateau, but said defending it was crucial to protecting its own security and the interests of Bhutan. China said it was "pleased" that India had agreed to withdraw troops from the flashpoint area. The daily quoted an unidentified government official as saying that troop withdrawal has been "mutual and simultaneous".

China's foreign ministry confirmed at a regular press conference on Monday the Indian side had withdrawn staff and equipment from the area. This plateau is a junction between China and the north-eastern Indian state of Sikkim and the Himalayan kingdom of Bhutan which is known as Doklam in India and Donglang in China.

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Around 350-400 Indian troops were there at the border point.

The breakthrough came ahead of the BRICS summit, due to be held in China's Xiamen on Sunday between Brazil, Russia, India, South Africa and China.

The foreign ministry in Beijing said Chinese soldiers will continue to patrol the area. However, China would "safeguard its territorial sovereignty according to historical boundary treaties", the daily said.

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It should be noted that the Doklam incident was triggered after China made a decision to construct a road in the disputed territory.

When asked whether China would halt road-building, Hua told reporters: "We'll take into consideration all relevant factors, including weather, to make any infrastructure plans - including road-building".

"On this basis, expeditious disengagement of border personnel at face-off site at Doklam has been agreed to, and is on-going", the statement said.

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China's People's Liberation Army (PLA) has asked India to draw lessons from the Doklam stand-off, which was diffused after both sides chose to retreat from a prolonged face-off in the Sikkim sector. India supports Bhutan's claim over it.

India, China to pull back troops from border confrontation