[Editorial Analysis] Ending the impasse: On India-China ties

Mains Paper 2: International Relations
Prelims level: India-China
Mains level: India-China ties

Context:

• For nearly a year, India’s relations with China have been frozen.

• The LAC situation is still unsolved, with tens of thousands of troops from both sides stationed in forward areas.

• In this context, the meeting in Dushanbe on Wednesday between External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar and his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi is significant.

Proceedings of the Meeting:

• Both sides’ initial readouts do not inspire confidence.

• Mr. Jaishankar stated that the unsolved crisis was “visibly hurting the relationship in a negative manner” and that when “assessing the entire relationship,” calm on the border provided “the framework for the expansion of ties since 1988,” when the post-1962 freeze ended.

• Mr. Wang did not appear to take the boundary disagreement as seriously as others, instead urging that it be kept “in the right place” while “increasing the positive momentum of bilateral cooperation.”

• Both sides agreed, as Mr. Jaishankar phrased it, that “a prolonging of the existing situation was not in either side’s interest.”

• The difference between Moscow and Dushanbe is that China, which was equally anxious last year following India’s counter-deployments to take the Kailash Range’s heights, where even warning shots were fired for the first time since 1975, now appears to be in no hurry to restore the status quo elsewhere.

• India, which has stated that normalcy cannot be achieved without disengagement and de-escalation, and has signalled its intent with measures such as increased scrutiny of Chinese investments — bilateral trade, however, is still booming beyond pre-pandemic levels thanks to large imports of medical supplies — will now have to stay the course to demonstrate its commitment to restoring the status quo.

• Beijing’s “strategic judgement on China-India ties remains unchanged,” Mr. Wang added.

Conclusion:

• The only way for Beijing to show that this is the case is for talks on the LAC to resume as soon as possible.

• Unless there is a complete restoration of peace and a de-escalation of tensions on the borders, ties in all other domains will remain tense.

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Prelims Questions:

Q.1) With reference to the Open Network for Digital Commerce (ONDC), consider the following statements:

1. It aims at promoting open networks developed on open-sourced methodology, using open specifications and open network protocols independent of any specific platform.

2. It is an initiative of NITI Aayog.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?
(a) 1 only
(b) 2 only
(c) Both 1 and 2
(d) Neither 1 nor 2

Answer: A

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