India and China in talks to resolve border dispute
India and China held the 20th round of corps commander-level talks on October 9-10 as part of ongoing efforts towards disengagement and de-escalation along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in the Himalayan region.
New Delhi and Beijing have been locked in a confrontation since 2020, when Chinese and Indian troops clashed in the Galwan Valley in Eastern Ladakh. The clashes resulted in the deaths of 20 Indian and several Chinese soldiers. The latest round of talks took place on the Indian side of the Chushul-Moldo border meeting point.
“The two sides exchanged views in a frank, open, and constructive manner for an early and mutually acceptable resolution of the remaining issues along the LAC in the Western Sector,” a statement released by the Indian Foreign Ministry read.
The talks build on progress made in the last round of corps commander-level meetings held on August 13 and 14, New Delhi said. There was no clear indication of any breakthroughs, however.
The Chinese Defense Ministry stated that the two sides engaged in “active, in-depth and constructive” communication on resolving the remaining issues “in a mutually acceptable manner at the earliest possible date.”
While the two sides disengaged from the Gogra-Hotsprings border area in the western Himalayas in 2022 following extensive diplomatic and military talks, friction points remain.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping met on the sidelines of the 15th BRICS summit in Johannesburg, South Africa, where, according to Beijing, they had a “candid and in-depth” exchange of views on the border dispute and bilateral relations. Indian Foreign Secretary Vinay Mohan Kwatra told the media in Johannesburg that Modi and Xi agreed on “expeditious disengagement and de-escalation” along the LAC.
Tensions between the neighboring states heated up again in August after China’s new ‘standard map’ showed the Indian state of Arunachal Pradesh and the Aksai Chin plateau as parts of China, prompting New Delhi to lodge a protest with Beijing. China said the release of the map “is the country’s normal exercise of sovereignty in accordance with the law.”