Two powers hold 12th round of talks . . .
Over the weekend, top Indian and Chinese military officers met for the 12th round of talks since the deadly Galwan Valley clash in June 2020 over the two countries’ contested border areas. The dialogue primarily revolved around disengaging from the flashpoints of Hot Springs and Gogra in the contested border region and the Line of Actual Control. A joint statement framed the talks as “constructive” and indicated a continuation of dialogue and negotiations to resolve remaining issues. In February, the two Asian powers agreed to “disengage” their troops from the Pangong Lake area. The negotiation was a first and came after months of heightened tensions.
New India-China hotline set up . . .
Following the most recent round of talks, the two governments set up a sixth hotline – this one between ground commanders in Sikkim, India, and the Tibetan Autonomous Region, China. This latest round of talks comes on the heels of the two foreign ministers’ July meeting in Tajikistan. After that meeting, Indian Foreign Minister S. Jaishankar tweeted that he had highlighted in his discussion that the “unilateral change of status quo is not acceptable.” While the friction between New Delhi and Beijing continues, India is sending a task force of four warships into the South China Sea to participate in a series of naval exercises alongside other members of the Quad – a strategic dialogue that also includes Australia, Japan, and the U.S.
Indian military reforms . . .
As India faces border tensions on multiple fronts, military reforms are likely to be accelerated. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been clear about his vision to modernize and strengthen the Indian military since his first term. He has already ushered in a range of reforms, including appointing the first Chief of Defense Staff responsible for integrating the army, navy, and air force. The reforms are likely to face pushback from within the military, but analysts claim that the changes are long overdue. The Indian military needs to modernize its weapons, upgrade technology, and reframe its command structure if it is to meet the growing security challenges in the region and rise to the occasion of providing non-combatant assistance as the largest economy in South Asia.
- Deutsche Welle: India seeks to reform its military amid new security threats
- Hindustan Times: India, China agree to speedy resolution of Ladakh border row
- The Hindu: India, China establish military hotline in north Sikkim