India-China special representative dialogue to focus on managing Line of Actual Control

India-China special representative dialogue to focus on managing Line of Actual Control

Courtesy : Agencies16/10/2018 09:37

The 21st round of dialogue to focus on reviewing decisions made in earlier rounds of talks with a bilateral commitment to keep the LAC peaceful.

New Delhi: The India-China special representative (SR) dialogue on boundary resolution will be held outside Beijing between November 23 and 25 with a focus on managing the 3,488 kilometre Line of Actual Control (LAC) between the two nations and preventing any Doklam-like flare-ups in the future.

The venue of the dialogue is yet to be decided.

The talks will be held between Chinese State Councilor Wang Yi and India’s National Security Advisor Ajit Doval.

According to the diplomats based in New Delhi and Beijing, with the Indian general elections five months away, the 21st round of dialogue will not discuss any new initiatives but will focus on reviewing the decisions made in earlier rounds of talks with a bilateral commitment to keep the LAC peaceful.

Since 2009, the ambit of the special representative dialogue has grown beyond its initial focus of boundary resolution.

There is a possibility that the two interlocutors may touch the ramifications of US-China trade war as well as mounting trade deficit on the Indian side in its dealings with Beijing, the diplomats said.

The Strategic Economic Dialogue between NITI Aayog Vice Chairman Rajiv Kumar and his Chinese counterpart is already seized of the trade issues.

While the hotline between Indian and Chinese defence ministers is a work in progress, Doval is in constant touch with Councilor Wang to ensure that there is no misunderstanding on the border issue or on global matters such as the Indo-Pacific or Afghanistan.

The meeting of the two will follow the meeting of Prime Minister Narendra Modi with Chinese premier Li Keqiang at the East Asia summit between November 13 and 15.

After the Doklam flare-up last year was addressed by some deft diplomacy by Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping, the Peoples Liberation Army and the Indian Army have held numerous border meetings to contain tempers, and trans-LAC incursions by the PLA have come down by 20% this year as compared to 2017.

The Indian Army too has taken a step further by not deploying battalions posted on the Line of Control with Pakistan to the border with China.

Shyam Saran, a former foreign secretary and an expert on China, said, “The special representative dialogue comes at a critical juncture for both India and China as the international situation, both in its political and security dimensions, is undergoing unexpected shifts and will impact both countries.

“There is an opportunity to revisit the boundary issue but it is more important to look for opportunities to work together on regional and global issues of common concern,” he said.

 

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