Modi, Xi call for rapid disengagement on LAC
Following a conversation between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping on the sidelines of the BRICS summit in South Africa, India and China have agreed to step up efforts for the disengagement of troops and de-escalation of tensions along the Line of Actual Control (LAC), Foreign Secretary Vinay Kwatra said on Thursday.
- Historical links: Since ancient times, India and China have had cultural, religious, and economic relations.
- Border disputes: The unresolved border dispute between the two countries has resulted in multiple military engagements in the past. The two countries’ boundary is not legally delineated, and there are territorial disputes in various regions.
- Despite border tensions, trade between the two countries has increased dramatically in recent years. Although China is India’s most important trading partner, there is a trade imbalance in China’s favour.
- Strategic rivalry: India and China are both growing countries vying for influence in the region. This competitiveness can be seen in China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) and India’s Act East policy.
- Cultural exchanges: Both countries have a diverse cultural legacy and have previously exchanged cultural delegations and events.
- Cooperation in multilateral forums: India and China are both members of various multilateral forums, including the BRICS, G20, and SCO, and have cooperated in these forums on subjects of mutual interest.
- Geopolitical consequences: The India-China relationship has far-reaching geopolitical repercussions, not just for the two countries themselves, but for the entire region. Other major powers, like the United States, Russia, and Japan, are keeping a careful eye on the relationship between the two countries.
What are the issues in the Indo-China Border?
The disagreement over the borders between India and China in the Himalayan area is known as the India-China border issue. The Line of Actual Control (LAC), which separates the two nations, is not always properly marked, which can cause disputes and sporadic conflicts. The primary points of dispute are:
- Aksai Chin: This area is located along the China-India border’s western side. Aksai Chin is under Chinese administration, but India claims it is a part of its country.
- Arunachal Pradesh: China refers to the northeastern Indian state of Arunachal Pradesh as “South Tibet.” India’s border in this area is based on the McMahon Line, which was drawn by the British colonial government, however, China disputes this line.
- Depsang Plains: There have been conflicts here in eastern Ladakh as a result of various interpretations of the LAC. There have reportedly been troop movements and raids in this area.
What are the decisions taken in the recent meeting by the leader?
- Bilateral Talks and Diplomacy: Both nations have held several bilateral discussions and diplomatic consultations to resolve border-related disagreements. These discussions seek to increase mutual understanding, debunk misconceptions about the Line of Actual Control (LAC), and find amicable solutions to disagreements.
- Border Confidence-building Measures: Confidence-building measures have been put in place along the border between China and India to ease tensions and prevent miscommunication. This includes regulations to prevent unintentional conflicts, systems for rapid communication during patrols, and hotlines between military commanders.
- Military-to-Military Communications: To discuss and handle border situations, regular communications between military leaders from both sides have been established. These discussions are intended to improve communication and stop conflicts from getting out of hand.
- Agreements to Maintain Peace and Calm: Both nations have signed agreements to keep the border area peaceful and calm. Examples of such accords are the 2005 Protocol on Modalities for the Implementation of Confidence-Building Measures in the Military Field along the LAC and the 1993 Agreement on the Maintenance of Peace and Tranquility along the LAC.
- Border Personnel Meetings: Regular gatherings of border personnel from the two sides at predetermined locations along the LAC aid in reducing hostilities and fostering goodwill. Cultural exchanges and joint festival celebrations are part of these gatherings.
- Information Exchange: Improving information exchange about force movements, training exercises, and border infrastructure construction will assist in avoiding misunderstandings and misinterpretations.