India, China forge 5-point formula to defuse border crisis

In a bid to break the deadlock on the months-long border standoff, India’s External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar and his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi held talks lasting for over two hours in Moscow on September 10. The talks appeared to be positive and constructive, fuelling hopes afresh for a resolution of the worst-ever crisis in decades marring India-China relations. The talks culminated in a five-point formula, as embodied in joint press statement, which charts the way forward for complete disengagement of troops, followed by de-escalation of the military build-up on the contested Line of Actual Control.

The two ministers agreed on the following five points:

  1. The two Ministers agreed that both sides should take guidance from the series of consensus of the leaders on developing India-China relations, including not allowing differences to become disputes.
  2. The two Foreign Ministers agreed that the current situation in the border areas is not in the interest of either side. They agreed therefore that the border troops of both sides should continue their dialogue, quickly disengage, maintain proper distance and ease tensions.
  3. The two Ministers agreed that both sides shall abide by all the existing agreements and protocol on China-India boundary affairs, maintain peace and tranquillity in the border areas and avoid any action that could escalate matters.
  4. The two sides also agreed to continue to have dialogue and communication through the Special Representative mechanism on the India-China boundary question. They also agreed in this context that the Working Mechanism for Consultation and Coordination on India-China border affairs (WMCC), should also continue its meetings.
  5. The Ministers agreed that as the situation eases, the two sides should expedite work to conclude new Confidence Building Measures to maintain and enhance peace and tranquillity in the border areas.