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Satellite images show complete Chinese pullback from Pangong Tso in eastern Ladakh
New satellite imagery captured on February 16, 2021, shows the full scale of disengagement underway
Camps, military vehicles, additional boats, jetties and storage facilities set up by the Chinese in eastern Ladakh's Pangong Tso are not visible in the latest satellite imagery with both sides initiating the disengagement process.
New satellite imagery captured on February 16, 2021, shows the full scale of disengagement underway in eastern Ladakh's Pangong Tso area, reports India Today.
The high-resolution satellite images conclusively show dismantled Chinese infrastructure on the northern bank of Pangong Lake. The images captured by space firm Maxar Technologies provide a clear bird's eye view of the progress being made as part of the disengagement plan recently agreed upon by both India and China.
In a significant development, the Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) has also removed maps and signs of China earlier engraved on the Finger Five area, first reported by India Today in July 2020. The PLA had engraved a Chinese map along with a Mandarin text 'Zhongguo' which literally translates into "middle kingdom", a phrase used for ancient Chinese territories.
Dozens of camps, storages and military vehicles parked at different locations have been removed by the PLA, under the agreement. The new jetties and additional boats brought to the shores are also seen missing in the new images, confirming the reports of a complete disengagement in the finger area.
The mountain tops on the northern bank of Pangong Lake that Chinese troops had occupied for months leading to a prolonged confrontation are finally being vacated as the disengagement between the two armies continues at a rapid pace.
The large officer's camps and storages set up by the PLA in May of last year are seen completely removed as well. The defensive positions dug around the camps have also been demolished, possibly to prevent a speedy recapturing of these spaces.
India and China announced the beginning of a phase-wise and coordinated disengagement under which the Chinese troops would move back and the Indian troops would return to their earlier position at Dhan Singh Thapa post.
The tanks on the southern bank that were separated only by 100 metres in some places have been pulled back by both sides completely and are now a few kilometers away, sources said.
The confrontation began on the northern bank of Pangong Lake, both in the waters and the bank as Chinese incursions increased in early May last year and PLA troops occupied heights at the ridgeline area previously controlled by India.
In May 2020, the PLA troops moved forward from their usual positions leading to a standoff lasting month. On February 10, China announced the "start of synchronized and organized disengagement" by the frontline troops at the southern and northern bank of Pangong Lake.