16:47 GMT17 February 2020
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    During Thursday’s meeting of the working mechanism for consultation and coordination on India-China border affairs (WMCC), the two countries decided to undertake more confidence-building measures to maintain peace at the border. The meeting was held at Chengdu in the province of Sichuan in China.

    New Delhi (Sputnik), Rishikesh Kumar — China has reduced the number of troops along the border with India in the past few months, a senior official of the Indian government, who did not wish to be named, told Sputnik.

    He said that the atmosphere at the Line of Actual Control (LAC) was really calm since the Wuhan informal summit when Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Xi Jinping met and issued "strategic guidelines" to their respective militaries to exercise restraint at the border. 

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    "Confrontation is likely to further reduce in coming months as China has started replacing troops with powerful surveillance equipment. They have reduced the number of troops by over 30%," the official told Sputnik.

    The newfound tranquillity at the loosely demarcated border is also evident from the sharp decline in the number of transgressions as compared to last year when the two sides involved in a bitter border stand-off for 73 days at the disputed Doklam plateau. The Indian official said that there had been 15% fewer transgressions from the Chinese side since the beginning of 2018 till September 15 in comparison to the same period last year.

    During Thursday's WMCC meet, both countries explored various new measures to boost trust among the armed forces. 

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    "They discussed ways to effectively manage border areas in accordance with the strategic guidance provided by the leaders of the two countries at the Wuhan Summit and explored various confidence-building measures with a view to further enhance mutual trust and understanding," a statement issued by the Indian Embassy in Beijing reads.

    Earlier this year, during Chinese Defense Minister Wei Fenghe's visit to New Delhi, the two sides decided to expand "the engagement between their armed forces relating to training, joint exercises and other professional interactions. The two countries have emphasized that peace and tranquility at the border is an important prerequisite for the smooth development of their bilateral relations.


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    confidence, border control, joint exercises, peace, Indian Army, Chinese People’s Liberation Army, Narendra Modi, Xi Jinping, Doklam, India, China
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