India, China likely to work on new border code

As boundary negotiation between the two neighbouring nations restarts on Monday, India is likely to call for expediting the process to clear doubts over alignment of the line that now serves as its de-facto border with China.

China, on the other hand, is likely to push India hard to agree upon a new Code of Conduct, which it proposed for implementation along the disputed border and for adherence by both the nations.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s National Security Advisor Ajit Doval, who is also India’s Special Representative for boundary negotiation and strategic consultation with China, will meet his counterpart Chinese State Councilor Yang Jiechi in New Delhi on Monday. They will hold the 18th round of parleys marking the resumption of the process that was stalled for almost a year due to parliamentary elections which led to change of regime in India.

Sources told Deccan Herald that Doval would seek early resumption of joint efforts to narrow down perceptional differences over alignment of the Line of Actual Control (LAC) – the de-facto border between India and China. Though the LAC separates India and China in the absence of a mutually agreed boundary, differences in perceptions about the alignment of the line are often blamed for its transgressions and consequent tension and stand-offs.

In the November 1996 Agreement on Confidence Building Measures in the border areas, India and China recognised the differences in perception over the LAC and sought to speed up exchange of maps for clarification and confirmation of its alignment. Beijing, however, subsequently took it off the table in its engagements with New Delhi, ostensibly out of apprehensions that New Delhi might insist on turning the LAC, if clarified and confirmed, into de jure boundary.

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