India and China agree on border diplomacy

India and China agree on border diplomacy

India and China on Tuesday decided to “expand” contacts between border guards from both countries for maintaining  “peace and tranquillity” along the 3488 km disputed boundary, which often witnessed transgressions and sometimes flash points.

National Security Advisor Ajit Doval and Chinese State Councilor Yang Jiechi took the decision as they constituted important confidence building measures for maintaining peace and tranquillity in the border areas, says a joint statement, issued after the conclusion of the 18th round of the Sino-Indian border talks.

The meeting was the first Special Representative level talks under the NDA regime. The Chinese official also called on the Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

After undertaking a comprehensive review of earlier rounds of the talks, the duo renewed their commitment to the three-step process to seek a fair, reasonable and mutually acceptable resolution of the border question at an early date.

Increased interaction between the border guards is being thought of as one of the key options to defuse tension. From the Indian side, the border guards are the Indian Army and the Indo-Tibetan Border Police while from the Chinese side border guarding troops are from the Peoples’ Liberation Army and the Chinese Peoples Armed Police Force.

A proposal to set up a hotline between the Chinese and Indian Director Generals of Military Operations is being discussed by the two sides for several years. A similar hotline between the DGMOs of India and Pakistan exists at the moment.

Also on the table is a plan to establish two communication links between the Eastern Command headquarters in Fort William, Kolkata with the headquarters of the Chengdu Military region, and the Northern Command headquarters in Udhampur with its counterpart in the Lanzhou Military Region. But no decisions have been taken so far.

Doval and Yang agreed to build on the momentum provided by President Xi Jinping during his September visit to further expand bilateral relations, even though Xi’s visit was overshadowed by intrusion by PLA troops in Ladakh.

The NDA government informed the Parliament in August, 2014 that Chinese troops transgressed the Sino-Indian border 334 times till August, and a total of 1,278 times between 2010 and 2013.

Both sides on Tuesday agreed that growing linkages between Indian States and Chinese Provinces through sister-city and sister-province mechanism plays an important role in deepening bilateral ties.

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