While the Ladakh incident was eventually resolved by a combination of military-to-military meetings and diplomatic interactions, three aspects stand out.
The ‘incursion’ by Chinese soldiers in the Depsang Plains in Ladakh raises some fundamental questions about the Sino-Indian boundary dispute and about Indian and Chinese policies.
The first annual session of the 12th National People’s Congress in China was notable for, among other things, new appointments to China’s key foreign policy positions. What are the implications for India?
While India must continue its own defence modernization and engage in partnership and cooperation with the United States and with China’s neighbours, it must also simultaneously be willing to work with China’s leadership on a broad range of economic, political, military and social issues.
Chinese Defence Minister Gen. Liang Guanglie’s visit to India highlighted four important issues in the Sino-Indian bilateral relationship – the AfPak situation, the boundary dispute, bilateral military cooperation, and Chinese views about the Indian media.
A US-India-China trilateral dialogue based on traditional security considerations is not likely to get very far. Therefore, start with non-traditional security issues of common concern.
There is debate within China on whether the country is truly ready to take up a more active political role internationally and whether in the rush to get involved, it might not end up damaging its long-term interests.
Sino-Indian relations remain stable broadly speaking despite all the tensions and what is more after every such occasion, the relationship climbs up a notch, moving to a new level of stability. This has been particularly evident since 2005.
While studying the military aspects of China’s National Defense White Papers, Indian policymakers and military planners must pay attention to the political elements of this document in order to achieve a fuller more accurate understanding of China’s intentions.