Thursday, April 18, 2024
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March for peace

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After the brouhaha over the Japanese visits to Delhi, it was necessary to counterbalance it in India’s relations with China. True, border talks between India and China remain inconclusive even after 17 rounds of parleys. But at the same time, they are stepping up military engagement to control confrontations along the Line of Actual Control (LoAC). India and China will this year exchange visits by their defence ministers and hold senior-level talks between their directorates general of military operations (DGMOs). They will conduct another joint exercise, try to set up additional border personnel and establish hotlines between military commanders at different levels.

The sixth India-China annual dialogue agreed to strengthen maritime security cooperation between the navies of the two countries. Cooperation will be stepped up in areas like peace keeping, counter-terrorism and humanitarian distress relief. The emphasis will be on fostering mutual trust and understanding. Steps will be taken towards full implementation of the Border Defence Agreement concluded last October. That is expected to minimize face-offs along the LoAC. The two countries will have to put through the agreement for ‘no tailing’ of each other’s patrols. The fourth hand-in-hand counter terrorism exercise will be held later this year. The two sides are moving towards conducting tactical exercises at the small platoon level. India should stick to the policy that it has no permanent enemies. Peace and goodwill should permeate its policy in the whole of southeast and south Asia. ASEAN should be expanded to include the Far East. India’s economic development hinges on such a network of alliances.

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