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Steps taken

  • The India-China engagement got an impetus after the visit by then Indian Prime Minister to China in December 1988.

  • Since then, four agreements have been signed between the two countries (in 1993, 1996, 2005 and 2013

    • to maintain peace along the LAC, 

    • laying the framework for dealing with the border issue and 

    • covering the spectrum of engagement from the highest levels of government to border personnel meetings in the field.

  • For more than two decades, these arrangements have served their purpose well.

  • Article I of the 1993 Agreement stipulates the creation of joint mechanisms to verify and settle LAC-related disputes. 

  • After 19 years, the Working Mechanism for Consultation and Coordination on India-China Border Affairs (WMCC) was created in 2012.

    • WMCC meets twice in a year.

  • A mutually agreed reduction and redeployment of forces along the LAC, as in Article II of the 1993 Agreement and Articles II and III of the 1996 Agreement.


  • The heightened tension on the LAC suggests that there are inadequacies in the agreements.

  • The agreements are based on the premise that the LAC is mostly defined and understood by both parties.  However, this is not the case and there are large segments which lack clarity.

  • WMCC has little to show in terms of results on the ground.

  • The 3,488 kilometre-long LAC has only four Border Personnel Meeting (BPM) points.

  • The Lipulekh BPM Point which was proposed in the Article V of the 2005 Protocol has not been established till now.

  • The paucity of BPM points precludes constructive engagement between the troops on the ground resulting in the escalation of disputes.

  • A mutually agreed reduction and redeployment of forces along the LAC, has not seen any progress.

  • The current mindset among the Indian security establishment is to be “unyielding” with China

Reasons for increasing clashes:

  • The quantum jump in surveillance technology provides visibility of movement of opposing forces in areas that were blind spots earlier.

  • Increased troop density, better roads, improved logistics

  • Availability of aviation assets enhance the reaction capability.

Way forward

  • Convert the LAC into a Line of Control (LC) by delineating it on the map and on the ground without prejudice to border claims. 

    • This will reduce the urge among the forward troops to inch forward. 

    • This may seem difficult but can be implemented with a display of maturity by both sides and with the use of technology.

  • The disputed areas on the LAC can be treated as no entry zones; alternatively, both sides should be allowed to patrol these areas as per a mutually agreed frequency.

  • Joint patrolling of the disputed areas must also be explored as this can result in the maintenance of status quo and an increase in confidence.

  • Existing Confidence Building Measures and engagement mechanisms need to be strengthened by providing 

    • more teeth to the WMCC and 

    • establishing more BPM points so that local issues can be resolved quickly.

  • There is also a need to identify the reasons for rising clashes on the LAC and working on solutions.



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Learnerz IAS | Concept oriented UPSC Classes in Malayalam: LAC Issue UPSC NOTE
Learnerz IAS | Concept oriented UPSC Classes in Malayalam
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