Back-Channel Talks Between China and India Could Resolve Border Spat

By M. Grace, August 27, 2017 03:08 AM

The border between China and Bhutan and the disputed area(Wikimedia Commons)

China and India have been going on with the negotiation talks for three months now for the border spat, but according to several analysts, there is still hope to resolve the dispute.

A report stated on Saturday, August 26 that China insisted India first removed its troops as a precondition for formal negotiations but there are now back-channel dialogue which could resolve the issue sooner.

"There are some indications that the two (India and China) are engaged in back-channel dialogue and negotiations to try to resolve this," said Jeff Smith, director of Asian security programs at the American Foreign Policy Council, a Washington-based conservative think tank, as cited by CNBC.

According to experts, India and China have little reasons to go for war as the costs for both sides could be high.

"This is serious, going by how aggressive and vulgar the statements are coming out of the Chinese," said veteran Indian diplomat Neelam Deo, director of Gateway House, a Mumbai-based foreign policy think tank. "Nothing can be ruled out, but chances are not high of a real military conflict."

Deo added that the border dispute has been limited to soldiers going after each other throwing stones or punches.

"We haven't had a shooting war in a long time with China," she said.

The dispute involves a plateau are known as Doklam in the western Himalayas. The dispute started when Chinese troops reportedly tried to build a road in territory claimed by Bhutan, an ally of India. India has reportedly bought in its own bulldozers in order to build a military road and they also blocked Chinese soldiers from it.

"China values peace and the interests of innocent people on both sides of the border, that is why it has remained patient in the face of such encroachment," said Xinhua. "China has never made the first move in wars fought since 1949 but it would not flinch if a war were to be inflicted upon its people."



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