Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar has said that the ties with China were getting “better”, and that the India-China border dispute may be resolved in future.
This indicates a high level of mutual confidence before his three-day visit to Beijing, scheduled for April.
Defence Minister Manohar Parikkar nytimes
According to analysts, local border-level skirmishes happen because there is no established framework to check these incidents.
“The border between the two countries is 4,056 kilometers of area, mostly in mountainous terrain, called the Line of Actual Control, which is neither marked on the ground nor on mutually acceptable maps,” according to experts.
China claims 90,000 sq. km of Indian territory in Arunachal Pradesh and occupies around 38,000 sq. km in Jammu and Kashmir, which India claims as its territory. Also, under a China-Pakistan boundary agreement signed in March 1963, Pakistan illegally ceded 5,180 sq. km of Indian territory in PoK (Pakistan-occupied Kashmir) to China, the Indian foreign ministry says.
The two countries fought a brief battle in 1962 over a boundary dispute that has not been resolved despite numerous negotiations.
At the same time, the defence minister has also suggested that the confidence-building measures taken for improving India-China ties could be used in the case of relations with Pakistan too.
“I am not born anti-Pakistan. There are a few steps they have taken. I hope they continue with the steps. Like we are building up confidence bridges with the Chinese, [similar measures] may result in better relations [with Pakistan],” Parrikar said.
In 2013, India and China inked the Border Defence Cooperation Agreement during a visit by former Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to Beijing, establishing a formal mechanism to improve security along the Line of Actual Control. But the agreement has yet to translate into any real structural mechanism on the ground.