India, China to intensify boundary settlement

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News:India and China have agreed to intensify efforts to find a mutually acceptable solution to their border dispute and work on more Confidence Building measures(CBMs) to maintain peace and tranquillity along the frontier.

Facts:

About India-China Border:

  • The border between India and China is not clearly demarcated throughout.Along certain stretches of its 3,488-km length,there is no mutually agreed Line of Actual Control (LAC).
  • India after the Independence had believed that it had inherited firm boundaries from the British but this was contrary to China’s view. However,China felt the British had left behind a disputed legacy on the boundary between the two newly formed republics.

India-China Border Dispute:The India-China border is divided into three sectors namely Western (Ladakh, Kashmir), middle (Uttarakhand, Himachal) and eastern (Sikkim, Arunachal).

Western Sector:

  • The boundary dispute in the Western Sector pertains to the Johnson Line proposed by the British in the 1860s that extended up to the Kunlun Mountains and put Aksai Chin in the then princely state of Jammu and Kashmir. 
  • India used the Johnson Line and claimed Aksai Chin as its own.China initially did not raised objections when India said so in the early 1950’s. 
  • However,in the years that followed it reversed its position and stated that it had never acceded to the Johnson Line and therefore did not see why it should cede Aksai Chin to India.

Middle Sector:

  • China has accepted Sikkim as a part of India and this region is less contested.

Eastern Sector:

  • The disputed boundary in the Eastern Sector of the India-China border is over the McMahon Line. It was formerly referred to as the North East Frontier Agency and is now called Arunachal Pradesh.
  • It is the largest disputed area covering around 90000 sq. km.It was occupied by China during the 1962 war but later withdrew beyond the International boundary represented by Mcmahon line.

Pacts signed between India and China:

  • The two countries are engaged in Confidence Building Measures (CBMs) on the border with bilateral agreements signed in 1993, 1996, 2005, 2012 and 2013.
  • In 1993, India and China had signed an accord to reduce tensions along their border and respect the LAC.
  • In 2012, the two sides signed a Joint Boundary mechanism to remove misunderstanding on a real time basis in case of any transgression along the LAC.
  • In 2013, the two sides signed the Boundary Defence Cooperation Agreement to prevent any flare up along the un-demarcated border. This encompasses both military and diplomat level dialogue mechanism.