Xi, Modi discuss border dispute on BRICS sidelines

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping at the BRICS summit in Johannesburg. (Photo/AFP)

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping have met on the sidelines of the BRICS summit in Johannesburg and agreed to ask their officials to work at resolving their border dispute.

"In conversation with President Xi Jinping of China, the prime minister highlighted India’s concerns on the unresolved issues along the LAC," India’s Foreign Secretary Vinay Kwatra told a press briefing on Thursday.

"In this regard, the two leaders agreed to direct their relevant officials to intensify efforts in expeditious disengagement and de-escalation," he added.

Modi said the "maintenance of peace and tranquillity in the border areas, and observing and respecting the LAC are essential for the normalisation of the India-China relationship," the foreign secretary said.

The feud over the 3,000-kilometre Himalayan border, known as the Line of Actual Control (LAC), erupted in May 2020, sparking clashes.

Thousands of troops were deployed to both sides of the boundary, resulting in 24 deaths.

At least 19 rounds of talks involving diplomats and military officials have been held to resolve the standoff, but there has been no breakthrough.

The two leaders also interacted on the sidelines of the G20 summit in Indonesia last year.

Dispute over border

The two neighbours fought a bitter war in 1962 that spilt into Ladakh, where India lost a portion of land called Chinese-administered Kashmir, or Aksai Chin.

The two sides have been trying since the early 1990s to settle their dispute without success.

The most serious dispute is over China’s claims that India’s northeastern state of Arunachal Pradesh is part of Tibet, which India rejects.

China claims about 90,000 square kilometres of territory in India’s northeast, while India says China occupies 38,000 square kilometres of its territory in the Aksai Chin Plateau in the Himalayas, a contiguous part of India-administred Kashmir.

Since the war, India and China have had simmering disputes along the LAC.


Source: TRT