The statement by China’s Foreign Minister, who is also China’s Special Representative for the India-China border issue, along with National Security Adviser (NSA) Ajit Doval, aims to provide a positive perspective on the solution of the border problem.
By LT COL Manoj K Channan
The peace talks in Indo-China, known as the Senior Highest Military Commander Level (SHMCL) talks, held on Friday (March 11, 2022), are of great significance as two nuclear power states set in the backdrop of Russia’s Ukraine offensive and the Russian Federation. deadlock with NATO and the US.
While the issues have no commonality, the importance is from the perspective of what the nations consider to be national interests and therefore the violation of bilateral treaties and rules-based world order.
What is the relevance of military pacts and treaties?
The Budapest Memorandum prohibited the Russian Federation, the United Kingdom and the United States from threatening or using military force or economic coercion against Ukraine, Belarus and Kazakhstan. As a result of other agreements and the Memorandum, Belarus, Kazakhstan and Ukraine abandoned their nuclear weapons between 1993 and 1996.
On May 23, 1992, Russia, the US, Belarus, Kazakhstan and Ukraine signed the Lisbon Protocol. The protocol commits Belarus, Kazakhstan and Ukraine to adhere to the NPT as non-nuclear weapon states.
Peace talks Indo China
The 15th round of Indo-China border talks is said to have been held in Moldo Chushul, led by Lieutenant General Anindya Sengupta, who took over in January as Commanding Officer General of the Leh-based Fire and Fury Corps. The Chinese side is said to have been led by the commander of the military district of South Xinjiang, Major General Yang Lin.
The discussions led to the resolution of the North & South Bank areas of Pangong Tso (North and South Banks), Galwan (PP 14) and Gogra (PP 17A).
The areas under dispute
Attempts have been made to withdraw the Indian Army and PLA troops from Hot Springs (Patrolling Point 15). The deadlock also continues at Depsang Y-Junction and Demchok. The standoff in Depsang has hindered Indian troop movement to the traditional patrol points (PP) PP 10, PP11, PP 11A, PP12 and PP13. A few Tents have been set up by the Chinese on the Indian side in Demchok and do not agree to go back.
• Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi states that relations between China and India “had some setbacks in recent yearswhich do not serve the fundamental interests of the two countries.
• Differences over the tricky border issue and territory should not be “interfere with the bigger picture of bilateral cooperation†
• China and India become “partners for mutual success instead of adversaries of mutual adversaries†
• China assured the Indian embassy in Beijing that China will work towards the early return of Indian students to the country in a coordinated manner and that it is not a political issue.
• Reference was made to an Indian proverb “help your brother’s boat and yours will reach the shore†
Interpretation and assessment of the above
The statement by China’s Foreign Minister, who is also China’s Special Representative for the India-China border issue, along with National Security Adviser (NSA) Ajit Doval, aims to provide a positive perspective on the solution of the border problem. However, this would be a ruse to give false guarantees as China has rarely remained consistent with its statements.
Coming back to the Russia-Ukraine dispute and its impact, especially in Europe and the world in general, as the economies take a hit and instead of a peaceful settlement, it has led to a build-up of defense forces in countries like Germany (announced $1.2 billion defense allocation) and Japan (decision to allow nuclear weapons), Australia to build facilities to build nuclear submarines, changes from traditional positions after World War II. China has also increased its defense budget, which is five times higher than India’s defense budget.
Against the background of these global developments, China wants to be seen as a country that does not look at aggression, but at a peaceful solution of border problems with its land border neighbours.
This should be seen from the perspective that India is not Ukraine, its military is not weak and compromised, its nuclear arsenal is intact and under civilian control, will remain under a committed declaration of no first use, is desirable but not necessarily mandatory as the imbalance of conventional forces is evident.
The reference to the Indian proverb suggests that India should look at the issues bilaterally and see development and mutual cooperation as the basis of relations with Indochina.
What’s the downside?
Since the bilateral dispute; the people-to-people contacts, travel, education and jobs have affected many Indian students and workers. The business continues, but the terms and conditions are an indirect economic war to increase costs.
Peace and tranquility along the LAC would help develop bilateral relations.
(The author is a veteran of the Indian Army. Opinions are personal and do not reflect the official position or policy of Financial Express Online. It is prohibited to reproduce this content without permission).