Today, Indian National Security Adviser Ajit Doval and Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi will meet in Beijing for three-day talks over border disputes in the east and west of the Himalayan ranges.
Following the standoff at the Doklam plateau, relations between the two Asian powers normalised in April 2018, when Prime Minister Modi and President Xi Jinping met at Wuhan.
Still, fundamental disagreements remain over the 3,488 kilometre ‘line of actual control’. China claims an entire Indian province—Arunachal Pradesh—as its own Southern Tibet and Indian Kashmir as part of Xinjiang. Despite this, trade and investment relations between the two is hitting historic highs, with bilateral trade was worth $84 billion in 2017
Both countries have made a concerted effort to isolate border tensions from their lucrative economic relationship. As such, today’s talks will focus on mechanisms to prevent and rapidly de-escalate border skirmishes. Likely proposals could include a hotline between the two defence ministries and an improvement in military-to-military relations between commanders on the ground so that intentions are not misinterpreted.
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John is a Senior Analyst with an interest in Indo-Pacific geopolitics. Master of International Relations (Australian National University) graduate with study focus on the Indo-Pacific. Qualified lawyer (University of Auckland, NZ) with experience in post-colonial Pacific & NZ legal systems.