The Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) has pulled back at least 10,000 soldiers from depth areas in the Ladakh theatre to rear positions in the midst of the ongoing border standoff between India and China, officials familiar with the development said on Monday.
But despite withdrawing around 10,000 troops, the PLA’s frontline deployments remain unchanged, said one of the officials cited above. The withdrawal of troops appears to be linked to extreme weather conditions in the sector, said a second official.
The Chinese troop withdrawal, experts said, has to be seen against the backdrop of the overall Indian and Chinese military deployments in the theatre — both armies have deployed a total of 100,000 soldiers and weaponry in their forward and depth areas.
“In winters, large-scale or even limited military operations are ruled out. That’s possibly the reason why the PLA has withdrawn troops from depth areas,” said former Northern Army commander Lieutenant General (retd) DS Hooda.
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