India biggest obstacle in making breakthrough in border talks with China: Experts

BEIJING: The biggest obstacle in making a breakthrough in China-India corps commander level meetings lies in India’s objective, which is not simply reaching disengagement of troops from friction points, but to use the talks to compel China to withdraw and allow India to carry out patrols and occupy Chinese territories in certain areas.
Liu Zongyi, secretary-general of the Research Center for China-South Asia Cooperation at the Shanghai Institutes for International Studies, told the Global Times. India has been thinking highly of itself lately, including in relevant talks. India perceives its current position in the triangular relationship of India, China, and the US to be analogous to China’s position during the Cold War era among the triangular relations of China, the US, and the Soviet Union. Given India’s favorable geopolitical circumstances, it believes China needs to ease relations with India so as to deal with the strategic pressure, Liu said. The reality is that India’s effort to play the US card against China on border issues is futile. “China will not make major concessions to India on border disputes, particularly on territorial issues, due to concerns over India’s strategic drift toward the US,” Long Xingchun, a professor at the School of International Relations at Sichuan International Studies University, told Global Times. As long as the talks continue, there will be no collapse in bilateral ties, and no new military confrontation or conflict. The meeting itself is a diplomatic posture, Long said. A future resolution of China-India border issues will depend on China and India, not any other third party. China and India are independent sovereign countries, neither will allow a scenario that could turn themselves into cannon fodder for the US. “India wants to borrow the power of the US, but it is reluctant to be taken advantage of by the US,” Long added.
Both China and India are developing countries with aspirations for development. China has the dream of national rejuvenation, while India has the dream of realizing modernization. In 2022, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced that India aims to become a developed country within 25 years. To achieve this goal, India needs a stable peripheral and international environment, rather than pooling significant energy and resources to border disputes. From this perspective, there is a huge common interest between China and India. Resolving controversies, including managing border disputes, is crucial for both countries to achieve their respective objectives. Fortunately, despite the friction between China and India, both countries have maintained a relatively stable dialogue mechanism. Progress has been limited, but they are firm in resisting another outbreak of conflict. In the end, it must be China and India themselves who will bridge their gap, while avoiding being tripped by outsiders. Experts note that in the China-India border dispute, India is the side that always wants more, and refuses to make any compromise. Disputes won’t be fixed in that way, and that method of dealing with problems might backfire.

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