India, China issue joint statement on border dispute

Russian Foreign Minister, Sergey Lavrov, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi and India’s Foreign Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar posed for a photo during the Shanghai Cooperation Organization Foreign Ministers’ meeting in Moscow, Russia, on 10 September 2020.

Russian Foreign Press Service Handout | Anadolu Agency | Getty Images

SINGAPORE – India and China issued a joint statement on the ongoing border dispute in the Himalayas, calling for talks and disagreements to reduce tensions between nuclear-armed rivals.

This happened during the Shanghai Cooperation Organization meeting in Moscow on Thursday between the foreign ministers of the two countries.

According to the Indian Ministry of External Affairs, the discussions between India’s Subrahmanyam Jaishankar and China’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi were “candid” and “constructive”.

“The two Foreign Ministers agreed that the current situation in the border areas was not in the interest of either side. They agreed that the border troops on both sides should continue their dialogue, disband quickly, proper distance. Should be maintained and reduce stress, ”the statement said. It added that the countries agreed to abide by existing agreements and protocols on the China-India border matters and to refrain from actions that could increase tensions.

“The two sides agreed to continue dialogue and communication through the Special Representative Mechanism on the India-China border question,” the statement said.

Troops from both sides have been engaged in a border dispute since May and in June, 20 Indian soldiers were killed in a deadly conflict. China did not disclose whether its soldiers suffered any casualties. Earlier this week, New Delhi and Beijing accused each other of firing in the air that a fresh confrontation took place without any borders, where opposing troops were stationed in close proximity.

The border areas have limited firearms under the previous agreement, which experts said highlighted the seriousness of this week’s confrontation.

Neither willing to back side

The political risk consultancy Eurasia Group predicts a 60% probability of a scenario where the stalemate continues with periodic flare-ups and skirmishes, leading to limited casualties.

“So far, there have been several rounds of talks, meetings between special representatives, special meetings for the boundary question, a meeting of defense ministers, and a meeting of foreign ministers, and none of these talks succeeded in making a new sketch. is.” “Akhil Berry, South Asia analyst and Eurasia Group Asia analyst Kelsey Broderick, said in a note on Thursday. She clarified that the two sides are unlikely to give even an inch of perceived territory given the current state of bilateral relations.

Politically, India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi could not back down because, according to analysts, he was criticized for failing to accept Chinese incursions into Indian territory. He said that any other loss of territory to India would hurt Modi’s “image as a strong man who would protect India.”

Chinese President Xi Jinping also will not back down and “signs point towards a border that continues to be hot and remaining deadlocked as both sides have been struggling for a long time.”

“This is to say that diplomacy will not continue. Commander-level talks are likely to continue, as will diplomatic meetings,” he said.

The Eurasia Group also explains the 25% probability of successful diplomatic negotiations, creating a 15% probability for de-escalation and intense military conflict on the border.