NEW DELHI: On ‘Talking Point’, Lt Gen (Dr) Rakesh Sharma(Retd), the Gen Bipin Rawat Chair of Excellence at the United Services Institution of India(USI), Distinguished Fellow at Vivekananda International Foundation(VIF) & the Centre for Land Warfare Studies(CLAWS), Former Adjutant General and Ex-Commander, Ladakh Corps, Indian Army in conversation with StratNews Global Associate Editor Amitabh P. Revi.
Lt Gen Rakesh Sharma(Retd) assesses the India-China diplomatic and political engagement, while troop positions remain the same, India’s Raksha Mantri Rajnath Singh and China’s State Councillor and Minister of National Defence General Li Shangfu’s meeting on the sidelines of the SCO Defence Ministers’ meet in Delhi, China’s Foreign Minister Qin Gang’s visit for the G20 Foreign Ministers conference in New Delhi on March 2, Xi Jinping’s expected meetings during the G20 and SCO Summits in India, the 18th round of Corps Commander talks at Moldo on the Chinese side in eastern Ladakh on April 23, the Working Mechanism for Consultation and Coordination on India–China Border Affairs (WMCC) in-person meet in Beijing in February, the Yangtse, Arunachal Pradesh intrusion attempt on December 9, 2022 that was repulsed, India continued infrastructure development along the LAC to bridge the differential, and the impact of the Russia-China partnership.
India’s statement after the Defence Ministers’ meet said the Raksha Mantri “categorically conveyed that development of relations between India and China is premised on prevalence of peace and tranquillity at the borders. He added that all issues at the LAC need to be resolved in accordance with existing bilateral agreements and commitments. He reiterated that violation of existing agreements has eroded the entire basis of bilateral relations and disengagement at the border will logically be followed with de-escalation.” China’s Defence Ministry, on the other hand, stated, “Gen. Li said that as major neighbouring countries and important developing countries, China and India share far more common interests than differences. The two sides should view bilateral relations and each other’s development from a comprehensive, long-term and strategic perspective, and jointly contribute wisdom and strength to world and regional peace and stability. Gen. Li pointed out that currently, the situation on the China-India border is generally stable and the two sides have maintained communication through military and diplomatic channels. The two sides should take a long-term view, place the border issue in an appropriate position in bilateral relations, and promote the transition of the border situation to normalized management. It is hoped that the two sides will work together to continuously enhance mutual trust between the two militaries and make proper contributions to the development of bilateral relations.”