Diplomacy

As soldiers face-off in Ladakh, India asks China to honour peace deals signed since 1993

Photo: A 1967 image of the Sino-India soldiers clashing at the de facto borders.

By Amit Agnihotri

New Delhi: India today reminded China to honour the five existing bilateral peace agreements between the two countries since 1993, while reiterating that the nation was prepared to protect its sovereignty and national security.

Responding to queries over the border stand-off along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in the Union Territory of Ladakh where China has reportedly pushed several thousand soldiers inside the Indian territory and pitched tents, India’s Ministry of External Affairs said the South Asian nation was acting responsibly, in line with the agreements the two countries signed over the past decades to ensure the borders remained peaceful.

The engagement, said the Indian government, was taking place at both the diplomatic and military levels both in New Delhi and in the Chinese capital Beijing. However, India also made it clear that it was geared up to protect the sanctity of its borders.

“Our troops have taken a responsible approach towards border management and strictly follow the procedures laid out in various bilateral agreements and protocols with China to resolve any issue that may arise in the border areas,” India’s Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Anurag Srivastava said.

“The two sides have established mechanisms both at military and diplomatic levels to resolve situations which may arise in border areas peacefully through dialogue. We continue to remain engaged through these channels,” he said.

“India is committed to the objective of maintenance of peace and tranquility in border areas with China and our armed forces scrupulously follow the consensus reached by our leaders and the guidance provided. At the same time, we remain firm in our resolve to ensuring India’s sovereignty and national security.”

The India-China border flare-up has seen troop movement from both sides in the Galwan area in a display of aggression. Subsequently, India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi as well as Minister of Defence Rajnath Singh has reviewed the situation with top security officials yesterday along with the nation’s top security and military officers.

So far, India has maintained that Chinese behaviour was affecting its border patrols. The calibrated response highlighting the significance of the peace pacts and the need to resolve any dispute through dialogue came today after US President Donald J. Trump‘s recent offer to mediate in the ongoing dispute through a tweet.

This shows India does not want any third party mediation in its affairs and hopes to work out the face-off with China on its own.

NEPAL: On the ongoing border dispute with Nepal, which recently published a new political map showing Lipulekh, Kalapani and Limpiyadhura as its territory, Srivastava said India was open to engaging with its neighbours to resolve all issues amicably, signaling that the country wanted to defuse tension with the Himalayan country as well.

You can read the May 14 statement on the Sino-Indian border situation issued by the Indian Ministry of External Affairs also here.

You can read the May 21 statement on the India-China LAC situation from the Indian MEA spokesperson here.

India-China Border Peace Agreements

  • 1993: Maintenance of peace along the LAC
  • 1996: Confidence Building Measures (CBMs) in the military field along the LAC
  • 2005: Protocol on modalities for implementation of CBMs in the military field along the LAC
  • 2012: Establishment of working mechanism for consultation and coordination on India-China border affairs
  • 2013: Border Defence Cooperation Agreement

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