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Five point action agenda – Resolving India & China

Five point action agenda – Resolving India & China

UPSC CSE Mains Syllabus: GS-2- India and its neighborhood- relations.

Five point action agenda – Resolving India & China

In news:

The Foreign Ministers of India and China, Subrahmanyam Jaishankar and Wang Yi, arrived at a ‘Five Points’ agreement to reduce the prevailing tension on the Ladakh border during their talks in Moscow on the sidelines of the SCO Summit on September 10. 

Dialogue process:

  • The process of dialogue between the nations is vital especially when the two are neighbours with strained relations.
  • This meeting between the two foreign ministers was an attempt to break the state of impasse as series of talks have taken place at multiple levels without yielding any results.

What is there for China in it:

  • It was also good optics especially for China as the Communist leadership was keen to showcase its sincerity to resolve the issues through dialogue.
  • It is in keeping with the Chinese policy of ‘talking and fighting simultaneously’.
  • Besides, it also lent credence to the role of Russia in setting up the stage for the talks.

How it all began:

  • bloody skirmish at Galwanon June 15 and rapid build-up on both sides led to steep escalation in which 40,000 PLA soldiers stand deployed with almost an equal number on the Indian side.
  • However, the situation remained regulated by talks at the military-diplomatic and political levels. 
  •  India’s counteraction at Chushulby way of the occupation of Kailash Range on August 29-30 took the escalation to a higher level, but well below the threshold of conflict.
  • Technically, the conflict situation consists of actions such as building fortifications, clashes between patrolling parties, laying of mines, air intrusions alongside certain provocative political actions.
  • The de-escalation process starts with gradual disengagement of troops alongside the dismantling of war-waging infrastructure, pulling back, and finally withdrawal to the designated locations.

Five point action agenda:

It reiterates the process of dialogue, disengagement, and easing of the situation. All this was comprehensively dealt with in the previous five agreements given below:

  • The 1993 ‘Maintenance of Peace and Tranquility Agreement’ forms the basis of all followup agreements.
  • 1996 ‘Confidence Building Measures’ denounced the use of force
  • 2005 ‘Standard Operating Procedures’ and patrolling modalities.
  • 2012 ‘Process of Consultation and Cooperation’
  • 2013 ‘Border Cooperation Agreement’, signed as a sequel to Depsang intrusion by PLA

Why haven’t they worked:

  • There is no requirement of additional agreements.
  • The moot point is their implementation as these have been violated by the PLA in pursuit of its “Nibble and Negotiate” strategy.
  • In fact, all these agreements have only helped China to consolidate its claims over a period of time by waging a ‘bullet-less’ war.

Have informal strategies worked:

The mechanism of strategic guidance evolved at Wuhan and later reconfirmed at Mamallapuram between Indian PM and President Xi Jinping has not delivered despite the fact that Xi is the commander-in-chief of PLA.

What course of action could India take:

  • India must continue its proactive posture not only in Ladakh but across the complete length of LAC.
  • After all, it’s the position on the ground which will decide the trajectory of talks on the negotiations table.
  • There is a need to pay far greater attention to upgrade India’s strategic programme to develop manifest deterrence through a triad.
  • The hardening of defences all along LAC to prevent Chinese adventurism has to be undertaken on a priority basis.
  • This will require financial investments but that cannot be avoided despite the current economic troubles.
  • The other elements of China policy need greater consideration and dexterity. These relate to economic and commercial ties.
  • Currently, India’s dependence on some supply chains emanating from China has strategic implications.
  • This applies to a range of industries such as pharmaceuticals.
  • These have to be reduced to a minimum and domestic production, as envisaged in Prime Minister Atmanirbhar (self-reliance) programme, has to be fostered on an urgent basis.
  • Other sources have to be developed even at a greater cost but the trade door should not be shut.
  • Greater and open cooperation with major countries equally troubled by Chinese aggressiveness and lack of respect for global rules has to be actively cultivated.

Source:” Indian Express.”


Analyse, why significant border frameworks have failed to prevent border escalation between India and China.