“Frank and in-depth” talks between India and China


India and China had “frank and in-depth” talks on the two remaining friction points along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) on Sunday, just days before the Chinese Defence Minister’s first visit to New Delhi since the border crisis began.

Points to Ponder:

  • On April 24, 2023, India and China held their 18th round of negotiations on the remaining contention locations along the Line of Actual Control (LAC).
  • The discussions were described as “frank and in-depth,” with both sides agreeing that restoring calm along the border areas would “enable progress” in previously difficult relations.
  • However, little progress has been made on the two remaining points of contention in Demchok and Depsang.
  • Both sides have disengaged in four other sites along the LAC, with some of them establishing buffer zones.
  • The talks came after the Working Mechanism for Consultation and Coordination on India-China Border Affairs (WMCC) convened its first in-person meeting since July 2019 in Beijing in February.
  • India has emphasised that disengagement, followed by de-escalation along the LAC, is important to re-establishing connections.
  • Although bilateral trade data hit record highs in 2021 and 2022, relations between the two nations have remained frozen since the commencement of the LAC crisis in 2020.
  • General Li Shangfu, China’s new Defence Minister, will pay his maiden visit to India for the SCO Defence Ministers’ meeting.
  • Chinese officials say that border management has already “normalised,” but India doubts this, citing the continuous deployment of troops along the LAC.
  • Chinese analysts have yet to explain why the PLA mobilised in unprecedented numbers in April 2020, pressing up against China’s LAC claim lines in numerous regions and preventing India from access to the traditionally patrolled “grey zones” by both sides.