Topic: General Studies 2,3:
- India and its neighbourhood relations
- Security & challenges in border areas
Days of disengagement: On India-China LAC standoff
Context: After two months of stand-off along the LAC, India and China are moving towards a full disengagement
Why peace & tranquillity is needed now?
- This was the first time the LAC has seen such casualties in over four decades, disengagement is needed to prevent the tensions spiralling out of control that may lead to a war
- India is battling multiple battle now (COVID-19, Slowing economy, Kashmir reorganisation) and cannot afford to have prolonged border tensions with China
India-China border Clashes during May – To read more about it, Click here
What exactly is the controversy about Galwan Valley? – Click Here
Factors leading to escalation and strategic implication of dispute – Read here
Reducing border tensions & move towards disengagement
- After Diplomacy at high levels (Military & NSA), movement towards de-escalation is said to be taking place in the military build-up at the Line of Actual Control
- While the statements made in New Delhi and Beijing were not identical in language, they largely conveyed a consensus to restore peace and tranquillity at the LAC.
- The next step will be to see their agreements carried out and to ensure that Chinese troops withdraw as promised on each of the three points discussed: Galwan, Hot Springs and Gogra.
Challenges with regard to disengagement process
- Bad precedence: It was during a disengagement verification operation by the Indian troops that the Galwan clash is believed to have occurred.
- Need resolution at other points: Chinese ground units have consolidated their position in the Pangong Tso area. Therefore, similar disengagement exercises will have to be undertaken for other points along the LAC.
- Needs follow-up action: Disengagement and de-escalation must be accompanied by defined “end-points” for troops to withdraw to, to ensure they do not reoccupy positions vacated.
- Communication to Citizens: The government should inform the country about the progress & considered measures such as “buffer zones”, the patrolling-free period, and the reasons for the decision to pull back Indian troops in the areas of disengagement.
- A full inquiry is needed of the build-up to the clash and the circumstances surrounding the deaths of 20 Indian soldiers.
- The government must consider whether it will continue its course of economic counter-measures against China, that includes
- Banning of apps
- Investment restrictions
- An import slowdown (increased custom duties)
- In small steps over time, India and China must return to a more balanced relationship.
Connecting the dots:
- 1962 Indo-China war
- China’s Belt & Road Initiative