Border Defence Cooperation Agreement 2013

Before Singh`s visit to China, I wrote a rather critical article for The Diplomat, in which I argued that India`s way of resolving the crisis was strategically reckless. Rather, other commentators have argued that India`s strategy vis-à-vis China is more nuanced than it seems at first glance. In reality, the BDCA could do little to reduce the likelihood of a border battle between India and China along the LoAC, but in the end, the deal seems to be in India`s interest. It ensures that in case of monstrous inventiveness like Daulat Beg Oldi, there are a number of bilaterally agreed rules to dispel the situation. This is what happened in April 2013, when a large contingent of the People`s Liberation Army of China (PLA) sank deep into the Depsang Plateau in eastern Ladakh, a region of Jammu and Kashmir bordering China. Troops pitched tents in the territory claimed by India, violated previous confidence-building measures and pushed India to make diplomatic and military scams. India and China signed a border defense cooperation agreement earlier this year following an impasse between their militaries in a controversial area. Given that China and India have not agreed on a Border Control Line (LAC), sporadic border crossing incidents appear to be increasingly becoming a disguised Chinese strategy to assert their claims in India`s western sector, particularly in northeastern Ladakh and Arunachal Pradesh, in the eastern sector. The LAC is not physically delineated on the ground or on military maps, and there is a persistent reluctance and official refusal by China to show India its version of the LAC – suggesting a greater trick to gradually build a case for its claims in eastern Ladakh and Arunachal Pradesh. Article III explains the process by which the OCDO is to be implemented through meetings between border staff, military officers and other departments and groups. There is nothing new in these announcements; They have been around for many years. The demonstration of the thirst for politico-military war and containment on different fronts seems to have become a defining feature of Chinese strategy, whether it be the long clashes with India across the border, with Japan through the Senkaku Islands or with the Philippines on the Scarborough Shoal.

The establishment of China`s air defense zone in the East China Sea by November 23 is evidence of China`s attempts to project violence, which offers a stage for China`s long-term strategy to cut off controversial claims with India. The Indian premier said: ”Premier Li and I have agreed that peace and tranquility on our borders should remain the foundation for the growth of India-China relations, even as we continue negotiations for a fair, reasonable and mutually acceptable solution to the India-China border issue.” India and China show a special case of ”restricted cooperation”, where the convergence of their economic interests tends to mask their dominant strategic differences. But these differences, which focus on territorial and border disputes, still offer the potential to put relationships first at any time. The two countries are divided over the demarcation of several Border Areas of the Himalayas and fought a brief war in 1962. .

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