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Focus: GS-II International Relations

Why in news?

India and China held talks between their foreign ministries and agreed to follow a consensus that differences should be handled peacefully and should not become disputes, in the highest-level diplomatic engagement since tensions along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) erupted in early May.

Decision taken by both sides

After reviewing the state of bilateral relations including the current developments, both sides agreed to handle their differences through peaceful discussion bearing in mind the importance of respecting each other’s sensitivities, concerns and aspirations and not allow them to become disputes

What had happened?

Border tensions between India and China were rising, with stand-off situations and heavy deployments reported in at least four spots on the LAC.

Line of Actual Control

  • The Line of Actual Control (LAC) is a demarcation line that separates Indian-controlled territory from Chinese-controlled territory in the former princely state of Jammu and Kashmir, formed after the 1962 war.
  • At present, Line of Actual Control (LAC) is the line separating Indian areas of Ladakh from Aksai Chin. It is concurrent with the Chinese Aksai Chin claim line.
  • The countries disagree on the exact location of the LAC in various areas, so much so that India claims that the LAC is almost 3,500 km long while the Chinese believe it to be around 2,000 km long.
  • LAC is divided into three sectors: the eastern sector which includes Arunachal Pradesh and Sikkim, the middle sector in Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh, and the western sector in Ladakh.
  • LAC in the eastern sector consisting of Arunachal Pradesh and Sikkim is called the McMahon Line.
  • The McMahon Line was a negotiation between India and Tibet under Simla Convention of 1913-1914, without the participation of the Chinese government and China considers the McMahon Line illegal and unacceptable.
  • The LAC mostly passes on the land, but Pangong Tso is a unique case where it passes through the water as well. The points in the water at which the Indian claim ends and Chinese claim begins are not agreed upon mutually.

-Source: The Hindu

December 2023