India’s External Affairs Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar will travel to Beijing today for a three-day bilateral meeting with Chinese counterpart Wang Yi.
This trip comes after New Delhi unilaterally revoked the “special” autonomous status of the disputed region of Kashmir this week. This effectively imposed direct Indian-rule on parts of Kashmir claimed by China.
The move risks re-igniting Sino-Indian border conflicts at a time when both countries have worked to mend ties since the Doklam border dispute in late 2017. In that incident, the two countries nearly came into military conflict.
However, expect both capitals to essentially “agree to disagree” on the issue. Both Mr Modi and Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping—due to meet in October—have worked hard to restore the status of peaceful disagreement on border tensions since the Doklam dispute.
Besides, the direct rule proclamation from New Delhi does not actually change the fact that China still holds Aksai Chin claimed by India and India holds parts of its now Union territory of Ladakh claimed by China. The pragmatic stances taken by Modi and Xi reflects their preference for border disputes to be frozen along the “line of actual control” as agreed in 1996 and for economic cooperation to anchor future Sino-Indian relations.
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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.