The Foreign Ministers of India and China, Subrahmanyam Jaishankar and Wang Yi, arrived at a ‘Five Points’ agreement to reduce the prevailing tension on the Ladakh border during their talks in Moscow on the sidelines of the SCO Summit.
Significance of the Five point plan
- This meeting between the two foreign ministers was an attempt to break the state of impasse as series of talks have taken place at multiple levels without yielding any results.
- It was also good optics especially for China as the Communist leadership was keen to showcase its sincerity to resolve the issues through dialogue.
- It is in keeping with the Chinese policy of ‘talking and fighting simultaneously’ (yi bian dan-yi bian da). Besides, it also lent credence to the role of Moscow in setting up the stage for the talks.
Analysing the plan
- The five-point plan is: following the consensus between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Xi Jinping to –
- “not allow differences to become disputes”,
- disengaging quickly to ease tensions,
- abiding by the existing India-China border protocols and avoiding escalatory action,
- continuing the dialogue between the Special Representatives, National Security Adviser Ajit Doval and Mr. Wang Yi, and
- the other mechanisms and working towards new confidence building measures (CBMs).
- It reiterates the process of dialogue, disengagement, and easing of the situation. All this was comprehensively dealt with in the previous five agreements given below:
- The 1993 – ‘Maintenance of Peace and Tranquility Agreement’ forms the basis of all followup agreements.
- 1996 – ‘Confidence Building Measures’ denounced the use of force
- 2005 – ‘Standard Operating Procedures’ and patrolling modalities.
- 2012 – ‘Process of Consultation and Cooperation’
- 2013 – ‘Border Cooperation Agreement’, signed as a sequel to Depsang intrusion by PLA
- There is no requirement of additional agreements. The moot point is their implementation as these have been violated by the PLA in pursuit of its “Nibble and Negotiate” strategy.
- In fact, all these agreements have only helped China to consolidate its claims over a period of time by waging a ‘bullet-less’ war.