27 February, 2021

Frozen Turbulence

Frozen Turbulence

If President Narayanan was hoping to get a commitment from Beijing on a speedy resolution of the border dispute, he must have been disappointed. In talks with President Jiang Zemin, he brought up the subject, only to be told resolving such difficult historical disputes needs time and patience from both sides. Jiang said China had resolved most of its other border disputes, including with Russia, the Central Asian republics and Vietnam, and there was no reason why it couldn't be done with India too. Rushing it, Premier Zhu Rongji agreed, would serve no purpose.

Under an agreement signed in 1993, both sides are committed to delineating the line of actual control as early as possible, but 13 meetings of the Joint Working Group on the border question and other technical sub-groups have failed to make much headway. The Indian position is that China continues to illegally occupy 38,000 sq km of Indian territory in Kashmir, besides the 5,180 sq km ceded by Pakistan to China. Beijing, on its part, lays claim to 90,000 sq km of territory in Arunachal, and is...

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