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India, China Agree Not to Add Troops on Disputed Himalayan Border  

FILE - Indian soldiers walk at the foothills of a mountain range near Leh, the joint capital of the union territory of Ladakh, June 25, 2020.

India and China have agreed to not send more troops to a disputed border region in the Himalayas, where their respective troops engaged in deadly hand-to-hand fighting in June.

A joint statement released Tuesday says the agreement was reached after talks between senior military officials from both countries the day before. The statement said both nations have agreed to “avoid misunderstandings and misjudgments” that would lead to any further clashes in the strategic cold desert region of Ladakh, which borders Tibet.

A standoff that began in May worsened a month later when the soldiers came to blows, using bare fists and crude weapons including stones and clubs, that left 20 Indian soldiers dead and several more wounded. China also suffered casualties but has not provided details.

Both sides blamed the other for the recent fighting. India accused China of violating bilateral agreements by amassing troops and armaments along the so-called Line of Actual Control that divides their unsettled boundary, while Beijing accused New Delhi of trespassing and firing shots that threatened the safety of the Chinese border troops.

Longstanding protocols forbid the use of firearms.

The boundary dispute between India and China has simmered since they fought a war in 1962, but both countries set the decades-old issue aside in recent decades as economic ties blossomed. The latest standoff has again put a deep strain in their ties.

India has banned scores of Chinese apps including the hugely popular video game PubG and TikTok and restricted Chinese firms from infrastructure projects since the military standoff.