China for border code of conduct, India mum

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February 15, 2014

NEW DELHI: China has suggested drawing up a code of conduct with India on the disputed border. This is expected to govern the behavior of troops and personnel of both countries on the border. The proposal was made during the recent special representative’s talks between Shivshankar Menon and Yang Jiechi.

February 15, 2014

NEW DELHI: China has suggested drawing up a code of conduct with India on the disputed border. This is expected to govern the behavior of troops and personnel of both countries on the border. The proposal was made during the recent special representative’s talks between Shivshankar Menon and Yang Jiechi.

For its part, India wants to ensure that any agreement on behavior should ensure that there is no flare-up on the border.

While the Indian side is "studying" it, nobody is clear whether its actually necessary or why a new code is needed less than a year after both sides signed a border defence cooperation agreement (BDCA).

Late in 2012, the Chinese proposed a border defence pact with India which would supplant the previous pacts signed since 1993. India was initially reluctant, but after the Depsang incident in April 2013, it decided to go ahead with the agreement with China, which was finally inked when PM Manmohan Singh visited Beijing in October.

The proposed code of conduct is expected to cover operating procedures for both sides on the disputed border, including the use of offensive equipment and sophisticated surveillance systems. India is more receptive to the agreement this time around, indicating that China's initiatives on the border, while sometimes aggressive, are also less threatening.

For its part, India wants to ensure that any agreement on behavior should ensure that there is no flare-up on the border. Patrolling by both sides has become more aggressive in recent years. Although China has had a head start, India has been playing catch-up on border infrastructure, including raising an entire strike corps.

The defence establishments of China and India will be meeting on February 24 for the next round of defence talks in New Delhi. This will dovetail into the strategic and economic dialogue in early March. Later this year, India is expecting a visit by Chinese Premier Li Keqiang to keep up the momentum of high level engagement. A maritime dialogue has also been proposed.


Courtesy: PTI