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Surendra Sawant asked: India since 1947 had three major wars with its neighbours but of these only two (1965 & 1971) were followed by a peace agreement. Why none after the 1962 war?

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  • Rup Narayan Das replies: After the 1962 war, diplomatic relationship between the two countries was re-established in 1976, when K.R. Narayanan, who later became president of India, was appointed India’s ambassador to China. A major breakthrough in the bilateral relationship was the visit of former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi, during which a Joint Working Group (JWG) was established to resolve the boundary issue. However, the real breakthrough came in 1993, when the two countries signed the Agreement on the Maintenance of Peace and Tranquility along the Line of Actual Control in the India-China Border Areas. Significantly, the Agreement stipulated provisions as under:

    “The two sides are of the view that the India-China boundary question shall be resolved through peaceful and friendly consultations. Neither side shall use or threaten to use force against the other by any means. Pending an ultimate solution to the boundary question between the two countries, the two sides shall strictly respect and observe the Line of Actual Control between the two sides.”

    This was the first major Confidence Building Measure (CBM) between the two countries. It also provided the procedural and institutional mechanism to deal with border incursions on either side of the LAC. This CBM was followed by CBMs in 1996 and 2005. The CBMs have been working reasonably well. As far as the border dispute is concerned, the two countries have held Special Representatives Talks since 2003. So far eighteen rounds of talks have been held. From the Indian side, it is the National Security Adviser who is the Special Representative, and from the Chinese side, it is their State Councilor.

    Posted on May 26, 2014