By Mercy Ben-kalio
The “expeditious disengagement” comes two months after their soldiers began confronting each other at the Doklam plateau where India, China and Bhutan meet.
India had sent its troops to stop China building a road in the remote, uninhabited territory, which is claimed by both China and Bhutan. But Beijing said India had no role to play in the area, and ordered its troops to withdraw unilaterally or face the prospect of an escalation.
In a statement, India’s ministry of external affairs said both sides had agreed to “go back to the status quo” before the stand-off following diplomatic exchanges.
Soldiers from each nation are going to continue patrolling the area as they did before.
A spokeswoman for China’s foreign ministry said: “We remind the Indian side to learn the lesson from this incident, earnestly respect the historical boundary and the basic principles of international law, meet China halfway and jointly protect the peace and tranquillity of the region.
“The world is not peaceful, and peace needs to be safeguarded.”
Experts have praised the pullback of troops, but warned the confrontation will have damaged relations between the two countries.
Sushant Sareen, a senior fellow at the Vivekanand International Foundation in New Delhi, said: “Does this mean that all is hunky dory between India and China? Certainly not.”
Although Doklam is claimed by the tiny kingdom of Bhutan, Beijing says it belongs to China based on a treaty with Britain that dates back to 1890.
Several rounds of border talks between Bhutan and China have failed to resolve the dispute .Doklam offers a narrow corridor that links mainland India with its remote northeastern states.
New Delhi was concerned that China blocking this corridor would have isolated parts of India from the rest of the country. The breakthrough comes days before Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi is due to travel to China for a summit of the BRICS nations: Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa.