Topics Covered: Bilateral, regional and global groupings and agreements involving India and/or affecting India’s interests.
China says India violated border agreements:
China has blamed India for “violating” border agreements and said India bore responsibility for the recent tensions.
- This comes a day after Defence Minister Rajnath Singh told Parliament that China had, by amassing troops along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) this summer, violated the 1993 and 1996 boundary agreements that have helped keep the peace along the border for years.
What do 1993 and 1996 agreements say?
India and China have signed various agreements on border management— signed in September 1993, November 1996, April 2005 and October 2013.
Unfortunately, these are deeply flawed agreements and make the quest for settlement of the boundary question at best a strategic illusion and at worst a cynical diplomatic parlour trick.
- 1993 Agreement on the Maintenance of Peace and Tranquility along the Line of Actual Control in the Sino-Indian Border:
As per the agreement, both India and China agree to keep “military forces in the areas along the line of actual control to a minimum level” and “reduce troop levels” compatible with friendly and good relations between them.
- 1996 Agreement on Confidence-Building Measures:
This agreement allows for “military disclosure when the parties are undertaking border exercises and for the reduction of troop levels in the border areas.
- It also allows the parties to observe and inspect troop movements in each other territory upon invitation.
- In this agreement too, the two sides agreed to reduce or limit their military forces within mutually-agreed geographical zones along the LAC.
- It also specifies the major categories of armaments to be reduced or limited: “combat tanks, infantry combat vehicles, guns etc.
- It also stipulates that “[n]either side shall open fire, cause bio-degradation, use hazardous chemicals, conduct blast operations or hunt with guns or explosives within two kilometers from the line of actual control.
What’s the issue now?
- These agreements are there just on papers. They have no bearing on the ground reality.
- The agreements do not reflect any attempt to have each side recognise the other’s line of deployment of troops at the time they were signed.
- Also, the absence of a definition of LAC allows ever new and surreptitious advances on the ground.
India and China have recently agreed on a five-point course of action to disengage and reduce tensions along the Line of Actual Control (LAC).
- What is LoC and how is it established, geographical extent and significance?
- What is LAC?
- Where is Nathu la?
- Where is Pangong Tso?
- Who administers Akashi Chin?
- Where is Naku La?
- Who controls what in Pangong Tso lake region?
Discuss the significance of Pangong Tso for India and China.
Sources: the Hindu.