NEW DELHI: India and China have built up an impressive series of agreements to guarantee peace on the disputed boundary. The agreements have substantially held with no shots fired in decades. But Monday’s violent incident in the Galwan Valley underscores how these have failed. Indian diplomats say China has no use for such agreements when it conflicts with a strategic goal. Here’s a lowdown on those agreements and some of the key clauses that China has disregarded.
1. Agreement on the Maintenance of Peace and Tranquility along the Line of Actual Control in the India-China Border Areas (September 7, 1993): “In case of contingencies or other problems arising in the areas along the line of actual control, the two sides shall deal with them through meetings and friendly consultations between border personnel of the two countries.”
2. Agreement on Confidence Building Measures in the Military Field along the LAC (November 29, 1996): if the border personnel of the two sides come in a face-to-face situation due to differences on the alignment of the line of actual control or any other reason, they shall exercise self-restraint and take all necessary steps to avoid an escalation of the situation. Both sides shall also enter into immediate consultations through diplomatic and/or other available channels to review the situation and prevent any escalation of tension.”
3. Protocol on Modalities for the Implementation of the Confidence Building Measures in the Military Field along the LAC (April 11, 2005): “If the border personnel of the two sides come to a face-to-face situation due to differences on the alignment of the Line of Actual Control or any other reason… Throughout the face-to-face situation, neither side shall use force or threaten to use force against the other.”
4. Agreement on the Establishment of a Working Mechanism for Consultation and Coordination on India-China Border Affairs (January 17, 2012): Headed by joint secretary level officers and comprising diplomatic and military officials from both sides, the mechanism aims at “timely communication of information on the border situation for appropriately handling border incidents”. India and China are said to have activated it to deal with the current LAC crisis but no desired results so far.
5. Agreement on Border Defence Cooperation (October 23, 2013): “The two sides agree that if the border defence forces of the two sides come to a face-to-face situation in areas where there is no common understanding of the line of actual control, both sides shall exercise maximum self-restraint, refrain from any provocative actions, not use force or threaten to use force against the other side, treat each other with courtesy and prevent exchange of fire or armed conflict.”