The LAC has always remained a major cause of tension between India and China. Chinese President Xi Jinping’s recent visit to India was seen by several political analysts as an opportunity to sort out the border related issues. Here are some interesting facts about the ‘all important’ LAC.
India and China have different perspectives regarding LAC
Called Line of Actual Control (LAC), a 4,057-km porous border running through glaciers, snow deserts, mountains and rivers separate India and China. Both the nations have differing perceptions of LAC. This has sharpened in last few years ever since New Delhi has started building military infrastructure along the LAC in response to Beijing’s defence build-up and deployment of troops.
Areas under LAC
The LAC traverses three areas — Western (Ladakh, Kashmir), middle (Uttarakhand, Himachal) and eastern (Sikkim, Arunachal).
Transgressions by China
Transgressions along the LAC into India from the Chinese side is more frequent in the Western sector.
Illegal occupation by China
China illegally occupies 38,000sqkm of land in Jammu & Kashmir. It also holds 5,180km of Indian territory in PoK under the Sino-Pak agreement of 1963.
Arunachal Pradesh at the ‘heart’ of the issue
At the heart of boundary dispute is the issue of Arunachal (90,000sqkm), which China describes as ‘Southern Tibet’. Beijing is reported to be demanding that at least the Tawang Tract of Arunachal Pradesh, if not the whole of it, should be transferred to China.
Constant dialogue between the 2 sides
Special representatives have held 17 rounds of dialogue so far. They are in second stage of boundary negotiations. The last round was held this February in Delhi. The first one under the current NDA regime is yet to be held.
Pacts signed by India and China
In 1993, India and China signed an accord to reduce tensions along their border and respect the LAC. Three years later in 1996 the two countries agreed to delimit the LAC and institute confidence building measures.
Joint efforts regarding LAC
In January 2012, the two sides signed a Joint Boundary mechanism to remove misunderstanding on a real time basis in case of any transgression along the LAC.
Mechanism to prevent border flare-ups
In October 2013, the two sides signed the Boundary Defence Cooperation Agreement to prevent any flare up along the un-demarcated border. This encompasses both military level and diplomat level dialogue mechanism.