China renews proposal for border code of conduct

China renews proposal for border code of conduct

China renewed its proposal to start negotiations with India for a new code of conduct for the military and paramilitary personnel deployed along the disputed boundary between the two nations.

The proposal for negotiations on a new code of conduct for border control was put forward even as the diplomats of India and China held a meeting in Beijing last Friday under the Working Mechanism for Consultation and Coordination on Border Affairs, sources told the DH.  

Pranay Verma, Joint Secretary (East Asia) at the Ministry of External Affairs, led the delegation from India, while Xiao Qian, who heads the Department of Asian Affairs at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Chinese Government, led the delegation of the host country. The delegations also had officials of Indian Army and People's Liberation Army of China.

China renewed the proposal as both sides exchanged views on "further confidence building measures".

New Delhi remained non-committal on the proposal from Beijing. The issue may come up again for discussion during the forthcoming meeting of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's National Security Advisor Ajit Doval and China's State Councillor Yang Jiechi. Doval and Yang are special representatives of India and China for the boundary negotiations and strategic consultations.

Doval is likely to host Yang for the 20th round of boundary negotiations within the next few weeks.

New Delhi is cautiously assessing if the proposed code of conduct would anyway restrict it from building infrastructure along the Line of Actual Control, which acts as a de-facto border between India and China in the absence of a mutually agreed boundary, sources told the DH.

India has several projects lined up to build and develop infrastructure along the LAC.

Sources in New Delhi told the DH that India was not averse to discuss a new Code of Conduct to ensure peace and tranquility along the disputed LAC with China, but it would do so only after ensuring that its sovereign right to develop infrastructure on its territory remained protected.

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