Officials of the Ministries of Defence, external affairs and home, being part of the China Study Group, were present in the meeting, headed by NSA Ajit Doval. Cabinet Secretary Rajiv Gauba and some special invitees including some senior ministers were also present. The study group made an assessment of the deployment of PLA troops close to the Line of Actual Control (LAC). A point made at the meeting more than once was that the PLA needs to withdraw from all areas along the 1,597 km LAC in Ladakh as well as along the 1,126 km LAC in Arunachal Pradesh.
Field reports indicate that thinning of chinese troops have started and the Chinese PLA Air Force activity has also declined considerably in the Ladakh sector but the PLA ground troops are fully deployed, and on high alert in the depth areas of both Tibet and Xinjiang region. There is also a build-up across the Arunachal Pradesh LAC. A top military commander said the army had also scaled up its presence in the area to match the adversary in troop numbers and support elements as a precautionary measure.
Government officials said it was on account of a gradual, and graded pullback of troops by the Chinese side that New Delhi had adopted a cautious approach and in the Ladakh sector, closely tracking troop movements around Pangong lake and Depsang plains as well. After the completion of first phase of withdrawal, National Security Advisor Ajit Doval will have a second conversation with Chinese Foreign minister Wang Yi in about three weeks when the two sides will discuss the border situation again before the next step of de-escalation is ordered.