Use international law, call out China’s violations

News: In the recent foreign affairs meeting of Quad, India’s External Affairs minister said that the situation at the India-China Line of Actual Control (LAC) has arisen due to the “disregard” by China of written agreements.

Read here: Why India-China Border disputes are unresolved?
What is the base of India-China agreements?

India-China LAC engagement is guided by a series of bilateral agreements that both have signed over the years.

1993 Agreement: It said that neither side shall use nor threaten to use force against the other by any means. It further enunciates that the India-China boundary question shall be resolved through peaceful and friendly consultations.

1996 Agreement: Article I of this agreement talks of confidence-building measures between the two sides and prohibits the use of military capability against the other side.

2005 and 2013 agreements: The prohibition on the use of force is also enshrined in Article I and Article VIII of these agreements.

Article 2(4) of the United Nations (UN) Charter also forbade states from using force in international relations with two exceptions self-defense under Article 51 and UN Security Council authorization under Chapter VII.

What are the violations done by China against India?

The Chinese aggression not only violates all the bilateral treaties between India-China, but also the UN Charter. Line of Actual Control (LAC) witnessed violent clashes in Galway valley in Ladakh. China also implemented a new border law that renames several places in Arunachal Pradesh and aims to set up boundary markers on all its land borders. There are also reports of a huge military build-up by China with heavy weaponry including missiles in the Eastern Ladakh Sector.

Read here: Explained china border law and India

The LAC transgressions and the new border law violate Article IX of the 2005 agreement that mandates both sides to “strictly respect and observe” the LAC. Placing armed forces along the LAC breaches another key tenet of both the 1993 and the 1996 agreements.

-Article III of the 1996 agreement specifically requires the two sides to reduce armaments such as combat tanks and vehicles, missiles, etc.

What are the other violations done by China globally?

– China denounced a 2016 ruling in favor of the Philippines by the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), in a maritime dispute between the two sides in the South China Sea.

– China exploited the WTO system to pursue its policy of mercantilism. It is accused of providing illegal subsidies, manipulating currency to make exports competitive, stealing intellectual property, and forcing companies to transfer technology.

–  American scholar  in his book, Lawfare: Law as a Weapon of War, said that China secretly violates the obligations of nuclear nonproliferation treaty by providing nuclear technology to its allies, often through proxies.”

What should be the way forward for India?

India should develop strategies based on ethical lawfare by adding international laws in its diplomatic toolkit.

India should look to gather international support by using UN treaties, Right of self-defense under Article 51 of the UN charter, enacting a national security law to impose restrictions or sanctions on those countries with whom India shares a land border.

Read here: Pragmatism, not jingoism will help India deal with China

Source: This post is based on the article “Use international law, call out China’s violationspublished in The Hindu on 22nd February 2022.

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