India – China: 5 Points Action Plan

The Foreign Ministers of India and China arrived at a ‘Five Points’ agreement to reduce the tension between the countries on the Ladakh border.

It is in keeping with the Chinese policy of ‘talking and fighting simultaneously’. Besides, it also lent credence to the role of Moscow in setting up the stage for the talks. Some experts have termed these talks as stepping back from the brink of war which it is not.

The genesis of the current stand-off was the aggression undertaken by the PLA in the form of incursions by the People’s Liberation Army (PLA). Given the scale, extent, and timing, the operation was well planned at the highest level.

The conflict situation consists of actions such as building fortifications, clashes between patrolling parties, laying of mines, air intrusions alongside certain provocative political actions.

India’s counteraction at Chushulby way of the occupation of Kailash Range on August 29-30 took the escalation to a higher level, but well below the threshold of conflict.

The de-escalation process starts with gradual disengagement of troops alongside the dismantling of war-waging infrastructure, pulling back, and finally withdrawal to the designated locations.

India China

Five points action plan

• The 1993 ‘Maintenance of Peace and Tranquility Agreement’ forms the basis of all followup agreements.

• 1996 ‘Confidence Building Measures’ denounced the use of force

• 2005 ‘Standard Operating Procedures’ and patrolling modalities.

• 2012 ‘Process of Consultation and Cooperation’

• 2013 ‘Border Cooperation Agreement’, signed as a sequel to Depsang intrusion by PLA

The five-point plan is:

  1. Following the consensus between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Xi Jinping to “not allow differences to become disputes”.
  2. Disengaging quickly to ease tensions.
  3. Abiding by the existing India-China border protocols and avoiding escalatory action.
  4. Continuing the dialogue between the Special Representatives, National Security Adviser Ajit Doval, and Mr. Wang, as well as the other mechanisms.
  5. Working towards new confidence-building measures (CBMs).

What needs to be done both by India and China?

  • The immediate task is to ensure a comprehensive disengagement of troops in all the friction areas. That is necessary to prevent any untoward incident in the future.
  • The final disposition of the troop deployment to their permanent posts and the phasing of the process is to be worked out by the military commanders.

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