line of actual control

Where Are Sino-Indian Border Negotiations Heading?

The border dispute between India and China is one of the major flashpoints between the two countries that many worry about. In light of recently cited progress on border negotiations, I wrote a piece about a week or so ago for the Jamestown Foundation’s China Brief incorporating developments in both China and India from the last few years as well as other related shifts. Here is the first paragraph, but you can read the full thing here.

On March 6, China and India operationalized a coordination agreement to avert conflict along their contested border. The Working Mechanism for Consultation and Coordination on India-China Border Affairs, as the agreement is officially termed, was first broached by Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao during a visit to India in December 2010, and officially formed during the 15th round of border talks between the two sides in New Delhi from January 15 to January 17 this year. After last week’s two-day meeting, Indian External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna said the mechanism would help in “minimizing” or “bridging” differences between the two countries, while the Chinese Foreign Ministry issued a statement declaring that “positive progress” had been made to safeguard peace and tranquility along the border (Indian Express, March 9; Xinhua, March 6). Deep underlying tensions and rapid buildups of  military and infrastructure along the border by both sides however threaten to slow the already glacial progress being made in Sino-Indian border negotiations.