India-China Post Doklam Standoff, holds meeting on border Issues

Today India and China held their first meeting on the border consultation and coordination mechanism after the Doklam standoff and reviewed the situation in all the sectors of their border and exchanged views on enhancing confidence-building measures (CBMs) and military contacts.

Under the Working Mechanism for Consultation and Coordination (WMCC) on India-China Border Affairs, the two countries reviewed the situation at all the border sectors and discussed ways to improve border relations. Speaking of the talks, the India embassy said that they were constructive and forward-looking.

India and China have witnessed quite a dispute this year with the 72-day standoff in the Sikkim region, due to which the forces of the two nations also did not hold the Border Personnel Meeting (BPM) on more than one occasion. The Indian Army and China’s People’s Liberation Army did not take part in the traditional Border Personnel Meeting (BPM) on Sunday, October 1, which marked China’s 68th national day.

Today in the meeting the Indian delegation was led by Pranay Verma, Joint Secretary (East Asia) in the Ministry of External Affairs while the Chinese team was headed by Xiao Qian, Director General in the Department of Asian Affairs in the Chinese Foreign Ministry.

The following points come out of the talk:

  • Both sides reviewed the situation in all sectors of India-China border and agreed that maintenance of peace and tranquillity in the border areas is an important prerequisite for the sustained growth of bilateral relations.
  • The two sides also exchanged views on further confidence-building measures (CBMs) and strengthening of military-to-military contacts.
  • The two sides agreed to hold the next meeting of the WMCC at a mutually convenient time.
  • India-China border dispute covers the 3,488-km extensive Line of Actual Control (LAC). While China claims Arunachal Pradesh as Southern Tibet, India asserts that the dispute covered Aksai Chin area which was occupied by China during the 1962 war.

This was the first major senior-level official contact between the two countries since the over 72-day Doklam face-off that gave a major setback to the regularization process between them. The two countries are also expected to hold talks at the level of their Special Representatives on the boundary issue towards the end of the next month.