Disengagement on Line of Actual Control is a welcome start, but normalization of India-China relations is a long way off

Source: The post is based on an article Disengagement on Line of Actual Control is a welcome start, but normalization of India-China relations is a long way off published in The Indian Express on 12th September 2022.

Syllabus: GS 2 – India and its neighborhood

News: Recently China and Indian forces has decided to disengage from the Gogra-Hot Springs.

This engagement has come after a series of clashes and agreements between the two nations. However, still the bilateral relations between the two countries are declining.

What are reasons for declining bilateral relation between India and China?

China surprise attack to India in April 2020 in LAC was in violation of a range of bilateral agreements negotiated by India and China.

This broke India’s political trust in China that was already weakened by the earlier military crises in the high Himalayas during 2013, 2014, and 2017.

Galwan clashes between the two sides in mid-June 2020 also saw blood shedding for the first time on the Chinese border in five decades.

What steps have been taken by India to counter China?

India has imposed a series of economic measures against China and increased its military engagements in the border.

India has also stated that the “state of the border” reflects the “state of the relationship”.

India has stepped up its security cooperation with America and restored the Quadrilateral forum with Australia, Japan, and the US.

What are the future courses of action that India can take?

India and China will meet at SCO summit in Uzbekistan. There are various points on which India would like to talk to China. They are –

First, a disengagement of the military by pulling the troops on both sides to their peace time locations.

Second, India would also want the resolution of two other points (Depsang plains in the north and the Demchok valley in the south) of conflicts in Ladakh.

However, India faces a great threat from the growing military gap with China and it is hard to return to the border that was once peaceful.

Therefore, India should be open for a political engagement with China in Uzbekistan and lay out clearly India’s terms for the normalization of bilateral relations.

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