The Chinese People's Liberation Army has withdrawn about 10,000 troops from close to east Ladakh, but they are from the rear echelons, between 500 and 1,500 km from the line of actual control, not where they are face to face with Indian troops, the army chief General M.M. Naravane, said today. 

It wasn't just China at the LAC, but there is close cooperation between Beijing and Islamabad. The army chief said that there was no doubt about the collusion between the two countries. Both countries were threats, he added, saying that India was dealing with the more serious threat (meaning China) first. 

Speaking about the situation on the ground in East Ladakh, the army chief said that there was no change in status quo on the ground, but the Chinese, when they moved, had, what he called, "first-mover advantage."

Eight rounds of military-level talks have happened, but the chief said the situation on the ground remains the same and the army will stay in its positions, summer or winter, till a settlement is arrived at, leading to disengagement and de-escalation. And while 10,000 troops have gone back, there is no change in the situation at the "friction points." 

While Indian and Chinese troops are not eyeball to eyeball all along the LAC, adequate precautions have been taken as there are friction points in other areas as well, he said. The Chinese have improved infrastructural facilities all along the LAC. 

The army chief said that the troops in the high altitude posts were warmly clad, had heating facilities and were being given the right diet. There have been just a few casualties among Indian soldiers because of the cold. Keeping in mind the positioning of troops on the LAC, some restructuring has been done in the army, including moving out a brigade or around 3,000 troops from the Northeast. Two more brigades will be moved out soon, he added. 

The government has promised to provide necessary funds for weapons and equipment. All ministries have faced 20 per cent fund cuts, except defence, he said. 

The chief suggested that the soldiers who laid do their lives in the Galwan clash in East Ladakh would be honoured. Other soldiers who had fought bravely in other places would also be remembered.