India and China meet to resolve border dispute

Talks follow clashes between the two countries' armies in Arunachal Pradesh

Indian Muslims during a protest against China in Mumbai, India, December 13, 2022. EPA
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India and China held a new round of military talks to restore normality at the border, weeks after the rival armies fought each other over the disputed frontier.

The Corps Commander Level Meeting was held at the Chushul-Moldo border meeting point on the Chinese side on December 20, according to a joint statement issued by both countries.

“They had a frank and in-depth discussion, keeping in line with the guidance provided by the state leaders to work for the resolution of the remaining issues at the earliest which would help in restoration of peace and tranquillity along the LAC [line of actual control] in the western sector and enable progress in bilateral relations,” the Indian Foreign Ministry said in the statement.

The meeting comes after clashes between two armies, both of whom have nuclear weapons, when they attacked each other with sticks and clubs in Tawang Sector in Arunachal Pradesh in remote north-east India on December 9.

India’s Defence Minister Rajnath Singh accused China of trying to “change the status quo” at the countries' disputed border.

Arunachal Pradesh is historically claimed by China as part of South Tibet.

The two countries have held 17 rounds of talks between top military commanders since the 2020 border skirmishes in Ladakh region that left 20 Indian soldiers dead.

New Delhi and Beijing share a nearly 4,000km undemarcated border that traverses the mighty Himalayas from Ladakh in the north to eastern Sikkim and Arunachal Pradesh, known as the line of actual control, or LAC.

The 2020 clashes triggered the mobilisation of tens of thousands of soldiers from both sides to the treacherous high-altitude border since they fought a war in 1962.

While the troops completed disengagement from a key stand-off point in the disputed Himalayan eastern Ladakh region in September, the contentious issues related to the boundary remain.

India’s Foreign Ministry said that the two sides agreed to maintain the security and stability on the ground in the western sector.

“In the interim ... the two sides agreed to stay in close contact and maintain dialogue through military and diplomatic channels and work out a mutually acceptable resolution of the remaining issues at the earliest,” the statement said.

Updated: December 23, 2022, 1:08 PM