reportedly have a face-to-face encounter on the sidelines of the upcoming BRICS and G-20 leader summits.
Indian and Chinese military commanders have reached an agreement to expedite efforts in resolving a longstanding border dispute, which could potentially lead to meetings between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Xi Jinping at upcoming significant summits, Bloomberg reported.
Both countries possess nuclear capabilities and share a disputed border stretching over 3,488 kilometers (2,167 miles). The dispute escalated notably in 2020 with a fatal clash, marking the most serious border conflict in four decades. Despite multiple rounds of negotiations, progress has been limited in reducing the substantial military presence along the Himalayan border.
The report added that the recent round of military discussions occurred shortly before scheduled meetings between Modi and Xi at the Assembly of Heads of State for Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa, as well as the Group of Twenty leaders’ meeting in September, hosted by New Delhi.
The issuance of a joint statement is notable, given that it has only taken place eight times out of the 19 rounds of talks held thus far, the report argued. The statement highlights the mutual commitment of both sides to promptly address lingering issues along the Line of Actual Control in the Western Sector while concurrently maintaining peace along the border. Although not necessarily indicating a complete breakthrough, the change in language suggests an increased willingness to engage in negotiations.
During the discussions on August 13-14, Indian and Chinese commanders engaged in a “positive, constructive, and in-depth dialogue” regarding the resolution of unresolved matters along the Line of Actual Control, which pertains to the contested border, as per the report.
An advocacy group from the United States with vested interests in India emphasized the importance for New Delhi to prudently manage its relationship with China. The ongoing border standoff reportedly diverts attention from domestic investments in sectors such as infrastructure and education within Modi’s administration.
During the previous month, the Indian government acknowledged that Modi and Xi had discussed bilateral ties during a G-20 summit the previous year. This marked their initial official interaction since the border clash.
This acknowledgment followed a Chinese account of a conversation between India’s National Security Adviser, Ajit Doval, and his Chinese counterpart during a BRICS conference. In that exchange, Doval conveyed that the border dispute had eroded strategic trust between the two neighboring nations, according to Bloomberg.