2013 Border Defense Cooperation Agreement Between India And China

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On 23 October 2013, Beijing successfully signed a Border Defence Cooperation Agreement (BDCA) with India to undermine the debate over its recent strategic offensive behaviour. While the agreement appears to have set a positive tone for future talks between New Delhi and Beijing, it does not lead to any significant change in Chinese policy. The most recent mechanism is a simple symbolic agreement that has not resulted in tangible progress on the ground. The two countries are divided over the delimitation of several border areas of the Himalayas and fought a brief war in 1962. From time to time, tensions continue to flare up. This was demonstrated in April 2013, when a force contingent of the People`s Liberation Army of China (PLA) penetrated deep into the Depsang Plateau, east of Von Ladakhs, a region of Jammu and Kashmir that shares a border with China. The troops pitched tents on Indian territory, violated previous confidence-building measures and pushed India into a diplomatic and military scam. Reading the text of the article from Article VI makes it clear that the BDCA is doing little to reduce the likelihood of misperception of The LoAC. Article VI expressly prohibits one party from actively tracking or following another party`s patrols, as was the case in April.

Articles VI, VII and VIII explicitly describe dispute resolution procedures in “areas where there is no common understanding of the effective line of control.” This is intended to cast doubt on the usefulness of the 1993 agreement. At the time of the Daulat Beg Oldi incident, China never acknowledged that it had entered Indian territory. With the BDCA, the Chinese could have invoked a common lack of understanding. Improved means of communication between the two parties will reduce the likelihood of accidental intrusion, but if China deliberately chooses to provoke India, it could have a stronger base. The two countries have signed a total of nine agreements, including one to strengthen cooperation in rivers and cross-border transport. “China and India are two ancient civilizations. Our two peoples have wisdom and our two governments have the ability to manage our disputes along the border so that they do not harm the general interests of our bilateral relations,” the Chinese leader added. Article III explains the process by which the BDCA is conducted through meetings between border personnel, military officers and other departments and groups. There is nothing new in these ads; they have been in force for many years. While the reasons for a new LAC management agreement were explained, it was pointed out that a “new balance” had been achieved between India and China, mainly due to the development of catch-up infrastructure in New Delhi. Whatever the tone, texture and content of the BDCA, India can hardly afford to let its guard down.

The need for a critical review of the proposal and the willingness to say a categorical “no” to anything that undermines India`s sovereignty, security and defence is not exaggerated. India`s defence minister had rightly argued India`s right to develop infrastructure and improve defence readiness on its soil, as the Chinese had done. The banality of the text of the recent border defence cooperation agreement is proof that India is losing to China in terms of strategic leverage. Given recent confidence-building measures aimed solely at “consulting” and “coordinating” border issues, the ability of these mechanisms to make some kind of breakthrough in the interminable territorial and border conflict between China and India seems increasingly questionable. Premier Li Keqiang`s visit: India and China on the front line promise The Indian Foreign Minister said the BDCA proposal was a broader agreement, so it will take time to discuss it.