Reduction in Sino-Indian Border Tensions
Following the strategic guidance provided to the two militaries by President Xi Jinping and Prime Minister Narendra Modi after the Wuhan summit, there has been a considerable reduction on the Sino-Indian border tensions.
It has been said that almost 50 per cent of the friction areas between the two militaries on the contentious border has been reduced.
New Rules of Engagement
- The new rules include changes in drills and procedures of patrolling by the two sides and control of aggressive behaviour, besides the increased number of meetings between the local commanders on the disputed border.
- The new rules of engagement were specific to each area, depending on the peculiarities of each place on the boundary, and were done after mutual discussions and agreements between the two militaries at the local level.
- In areas such as those in the eastern sector, where perceptions of the Line of Action (LAC) of the two sides overlap, the two militaries have agreed to staggered timings of the patrol. One side conducts patrolling in the first fortnight of the month and the other in the second fortnight.
- In few places, the drills have been amended so that patrols encountering each other maintain certain physical distance (50-100 metres), avoid all physical contact, limit the interaction between commanders and disperse from the site between a fixed time (15 minutes).
- In certain sectors, the two sides have agreed to escorted patrols, with soldiers of one side escorting certain members of the other’s patrol to their perception of the LAC.
- There has been an increase in number and frequency of meetings between local commanders on the border which has helped in trust-building. The Chinese were invited to participate in the International Yoga Day celebrations. Further there has been an increased thrust on organising non-contact sports, such as volleyball, between the soldiers of both sides.
Strategic guidance which has percolated down to the lowest level has induced behavioural changes. Both sides equally understand the situation. This has led to a sharp drop in face-offs across border.
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