China-India disengagement at Ladakh: An unfinished agenda


Existing Status of Standoff

The 11th round of India-China corps commanders’ meeting has ended with good optics and pleasantly worded PIB release, with no concrete agreement (if any) disseminated so far.

After disengagement of troops in eastern Ladakh from north and south of Pangong Tso, no disengagement in other areas including Depsang plains, Gogra, Hot Spring, Demchok, and no further de-escalation, was well predicted by most analysts.

In the “Two Session” press conference last month, China’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi suggested China and India to strengthen cooperation instead of harboring suspicion at each other and earlier indicated to get back to business as usual, sidelining the border/LAC issue. The Indian Foreign Ministry seems to be conveying that disengagement at all friction points leading to de-escalation, peace and tranquility on borders are pre-requisites to progressing smooth bilateral ties.

This rightful Indian stance is adversely affected by indicators like the likelihood of Indian permission for progress in 45 Chinese projects and 300 Crore contracts to Huawei. This is not in sync with the stance conveyed.

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