India, China ink pact on border defence cooperation news
23 October 2013

India and China have signed a key border defence pact, called the Border Defence Cooperation Agreement (BDCA), to avoid face offs between the two armies along the disputed Line of Actual Control.

The Prime Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh meeting the President of the People's Republic of China, Xi JinpingAnnouncing the signing of the border defence pact, Chinese premier Li said he was sure that the pact would ensure ''peace, stability and tranquillity'' along the border.

He said the two sides have decided to work together to tackle terrorism, undertake joint training exercises and also increase communication.

The two sides will work together in combating natural disasters or infectious diseases that may affect or spread to the other side. 

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said the bilateral talks had been very productive and that the two sides have reached a number of important understandings.

''Premier Li and I have agreed that peace and tranquillity on our borders is key to relations for both countries. This will be our strategic benchmark'', he said. "This agreement will add to the existing instruments to ensure peace and stability'', Singh said.

The two neighbours signed nine agreements, including one on trade, river water sharing, infrastructure development, education and culture. These include:

  • Agreement on Border Defence Cooperation
  • MoU on Nalanda University
  • MOU to strengthen cooperation on trans-border rivers
  • Cultural exchange programme 2013-15
  • MoU on cooperation in road transport and highways
  • MoU on power equipment service centres in India
  • Agreement on Delhi-Beijing sister city relationship
  • Agreement on Bengaluru-Chengdu sister city relationship
  • Agreement on Kolkata-Kunming sister city relationship

Le said he had made a conscious decision to make his first official visit as China Premier to India and that the two sides had decided to continue high level visits.

''India and China are both fast emerging economies and is the most important bilateral friendship in the world'', he added.

Li said that China had decided to adhere strictly to all the agreements that had been signed.

According to the agreement, there would be no restriction on number of troops on either side and there would be regular local level exercise and border meets to avoid the repeat of the situation witnessed at Depsang in Ladakh a few months ago.

There will be 'no tailing' of each other and 'no shooting' by troops of both sides and status quo will prevail on the border.

The two sides may also consider establishing a hotline between the military headquarters of the two countries. Specific arrangements will be decided upon through mutual consultations between the two sides.

They would also jointly combat smuggling of arms, wildlife, wildlife articles and other contraband, etc.

The two sides, however, failed to arrive at an agreement to put in place a liberalised visa regime after the recent  episode of China issuing stapled visas to two archers from Arunachal Pradesh.

Earlier, there were indications of the visa regime being relaxed with China urging India to ease rules for issuing visas to industrialists and professionals wanting to come here and India also seeking reciprocity.

''The relationships that India and China pursue with other countries must not be a source of concern to one another. Accordingly, I suggested to Premier Li that we do things that enhance mutual trust. I received Premier Li's full support on this roadmap'', said Manmohan Singh.

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India, China ink pact on border defence cooperation