Number of transgressions along India-China border have ‘considerably’ reduced: Defence Ministry report

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Number of transgressions along India-China border have ‘considerably’ reduced: Defence Ministry reportNEW DELHI: The number of transgressions and the percentage of face-offs during them along the Line of Actual Control between India and China have ‘considerably’ reduced this year as compared to last year, the defence ministry said.

The ministry in its annual report 2018-19 said that the situation along the India-China border has remained peaceful. “Compared to last year, the number of transgressions this year have considerably reduced. Concomitantly, the percentage of face-offs or aggressive interactions during these transgressions has also reduced this year,” reads the report.

On Wednesday, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh in the Lok Sabha said that peace has prevailed on the India-China border, while adding that due to the difference in perception there have been some unpleasant incidents at the local level temporarily. He said that the two countries are respecting bilateral pacts to ensure peace and tranquillity along border. He sought to assuage the Opposition’s concerns over Chinese troops reportedly entering Doklam area in Ladakh recently.

The ministry explained both sides patrol upto their respective perceptions of the LAC.

The standoff at CNN junction in Eastern Ladakh due to Indian construction of a track and the constant raising of the Indian temporary operating base at Andrathang in Arunachal Pradesh were the only instances where there was a “major difference of opinion between the two sides”.

“A few Confidence Building Measures (CBMs) which had been proposed by both sides for consideration have been implemented in sensitive areas of Arunachal Pradesh, thereby easing the tension to some extent. Some additional CBMs are under consideration by both sides,” reads the report.

Specific cases of transgression by Chinese patrols are also taken up with Chinese authorities through the established mechanism of hotlines, Border Personnel and Flag meetings. “Post the Wuhan summit, there has been an increase in the number of flag meetings. This may be attributed to the intent to resolve outstanding issues through discussion at various levels,” said the ministry.

The report also states that post the disengagement in August 2017 after the 72-days long Doklam standoff, Indian and Chinese troops have redeployed themselves away from their positions near the face-off site. “The strength of either side has, however, reduced. The Indian Army is continuously monitoring Chinese activities in the area and is adequately prepared to respond to any contingency,” reads the report.

In a major engagement after the standoff, the defence ministers of India and China met in Delhi in August last year. “It is pertinent to note that the previous such incoming visit by the Chinese defence minister was in September 2012,” said the ministry.

Both sides recognised that ‘peace’ and ‘tranquility’ in the India-China border area is an important prerequisite to the development of bilateral relations.