Can China and India settle the conflict over the Line of Actual Control?

Source: The post is based on an article “Can China and India settle the conflict over the Line of Actual Control?” published in The Indian Express on 3rd December 2022.

Syllabus: GS 2 – International Relations

Relevance: India and China relations

News: China has objected to the military drill that is being conducted between India and the US.

What did China say and why does the current objection of China hold no importance?

China said that the current military drill Operation “Yudh Abhyas” that is being conducted 100 km from the LAC at Auli, is a violation of the 1993 and 1996 India-China border agreements. 

As per the agreement, there is a requirement that the two sides should not hold, or should give adequate notice of military exercises in “mutually identified zones”.

However, this agreement does not hold any importance as China has itself violated the agreement with its large-scale intrusions across the Line of Actual Control in Eastern Ladakh in April 2020.

It has also violated other agreements signed in 2005, 2012 and 2013. All these laid down that boundary issues between the two countries will be resolved peacefully, and that neither side would use or threaten to use force.

Therefore, India no longer has the confidence that China wants to resolve the border issue.

What is the way forward?

First, India and China now need a new border agreement to settle the border issues through peaceful means. However, it is doubtful whether China wants it.

Second, India needs to build up its ties with the US and QUAD nations to counter Chinese presence in the South Asian region.

Third, India can also make an alliance with Pakistan that benefits India and attempts to establish a rivalry in the Indian Ocean region.

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