Joint press release on the 12th round of China India military commander level talks

On the evening of the 2nd, China’s Ministry of Defense issued a joint press release on the 12th round of military commander level talks between China and India. The positive progress previously disclosed by the Indian media was not reflected in the joint press release. However, experts believe that the release of the joint press release shows that the specific differences between the two sides in the talks have been reduced, and it is possible to reach a principled consensus on some disengagement points.

The joint press release said: the Chinese and Indian armies held the 12th round of military commander level talks on the Indian side of the Mordo / chushule meeting point. Earlier, on July 14, the foreign ministers of China and India met in Dushanbe; On June 25, the two sides held the 22nd Meeting of the working mechanism for coordination and consultation on China India border affairs.

The two sides continued to have a frank and in-depth exchange of views on promoting the disengagement of front-line forces in the area of the actual control line in the western section of the China India border. The two sides agreed that this round of talks was constructive and further enhanced mutual understanding. The two sides agreed to maintain the momentum of negotiation and dialogue and resolve the remaining issues as soon as possible in accordance with bilateral agreements.

During the negotiation and dialogue to solve the problem, the two sides agreed to continue to make effective efforts to ensure the stability of the actual control line in the western section of the China India border and jointly maintain peace and tranquility.

This is a “long overdue” joint press release, which rarely indicates the time for the 12th round of military commander level talks. According to Indian media reports, the talks were held on July 31. Indian sources familiar with the situation said that the talks lasted about 9 hours, which was the shortest military commander level meeting so far. If according to the time disclosed by the Indian media, the release of the joint press release is almost a day later than the previous talks.

At the same time, the joint press release corrected an error in Indian media reports: in Indian media reports, the talks were held on the Chinese side of the Mordo / chushule meeting point, but the joint press release indicated that it was on the Indian side.

Indian media reported that “the negotiations between the two sides have made positive progress, and it is hoped to reach an understanding on the disengagement of the hot spring area and the gogola area. The two sides also discussed specific details of easing emotions at other friction points, including promoting the disengagement process. ” This was not reflected in the joint press release《 The times of India quoted sources as saying that India’s bottom line is still to restore the confrontation area to its original state by the end of April 2020.

However, different from the way in which the 11th round of military commander level talks delivered a statement through the spokesman of the Western Theater, the talks once again “returned” to the form of a joint press release of the two ministries of defense. Moreover, it is rare to add new content to the joint press release, that is, the two countries maintained the background of diplomatic dialogue between June and July.

Qian Feng, director of the research department of the National Institute of strategic studies of Tsinghua University, told the global times on the 2nd that it can be seen from the joint press release that the specific differences between the two sides of the talks have been reduced, and it is more likely to reach a principled consensus on some disengagement points, rather than the position differences between the two sides in the last round of talks are too large to jointly form an external press release“ Although the press release did not achieve breakthrough progress in disengagement in hot spring area and gogola and other areas as previously reported by Indian media, the information disclosed is that the two sides still maintain smooth communication channels, are committed to jointly stabilizing the border situation and trying to solve the remaining problems of confrontation. This is why the joint press release of the military talks rarely describes the background of the meeting between Chinese and Indian Foreign Minister Dushanbe and the 22nd Meeting of the working mechanism for coordination and consultation on border affairs between China and India, indicating that the military of the two countries want to send a clear message through the joint press release that the Sino Indian border confrontation is not just a military issue, It is also a strategic issue at the political and diplomatic levels between the two countries. Even if this round of talks can not solve the remaining local problems, the two sides will firmly abide by the political consensus, jointly maintain the stable situation formed since the disengagement of Bangong Hunan and the north bank in February this year, and will not further escalate the existing problems. ”

The joint press release described “this round of talks is constructive”. The last positive expression of “constructive” in the military commander level talks was in the ninth round of military commander level talks on January 24. Then, on February 10, Wu Qian, spokesman of the Ministry of national defense, released a message: according to the consensus reached in the ninth round of military commander level talks between China and India, the front-line troops on Hunan and the North Bank of the two armies began to break away from contact synchronously and systematically on February 10. So will the talks bring the same positive follow-up effect?

Qian Feng believes that although “constructive” is a standard diplomatic term, it is not an empty cliche used arbitrarily. In connection with the recent media reports that China and India continue to significantly increase troops in the border areas, deploy more advanced weapons and equipment such as fighters and artillery, and wantonly exaggerate the tension and seriousness of the border situation, the positive signal concentrated by “constructive” has attracted more attention, which has not only dispelled the previous international public opinion that the confrontation between China and India will reappear this year The possibility of triggering new conflicts also shows that through face-to-face talks, they have deepened their understanding of each other’s positions and showed a more friendly attitude in the talks, which is a step further from the early settlement of the problem. But on the other hand, due to the “late arrival” of the press release, Qian Feng also said that this also reflects from one side that there are still many differences between the Chinese and Indian troops on the remaining disengagement points and the specific methods of disengagement, which is difficult to reach an agreement in this round of talks. Therefore, the follow-up effect may not be as significant as that of the ninth round of talks.