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Retired Chinese military officer offers to create buffer zone on ALC to prevent confrontation

(KJM Verma)

Beijing, June 15 (PTI) A senior retired Chinese military official has proposed that his country and India implement existing confidence-building measures. Also, to prevent the border dispute from turning into a confrontation, the process has been taken over by the “boldest step” of creating “buffer zones” in the “most dangerous areas” along the Current Line of Control. (LAKE). be postponed.

“China and India should look to the past to move forward on the border deadlock” in the South China Morning Post newspaper published Tuesday from Hong Kong to mark one year of the Galwan Valley border clash between Indian troops and Chinese. Senior Colonel (Retired) of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Zhou Bo said, “This fatal incident was horrific and was on the verge of breaking the decades-old agreement between the two countries not to use force. ”

On June 15 last year, 20 Indian soldiers were martyred in the Galwan Valley in the first deadly skirmish with Chinese troops in the border area in nearly five decades. For this reason, the armies of the two countries had deployed a large number of soldiers and weapons to the places of confrontation in eastern Ladakh.

In February, China officially acknowledged that five of its military officers were also killed in a skirmish with Indian troops. However, it is widely believed that the number of Chinese soldiers killed was much higher.

Bo, a senior researcher at Tsinghua University’s Center for International Security and Strategy here, chose to publish the article containing his detente proposals in the Hong Kong media rather than the Chinese state media.

“A year after the shock of the deadly border skirmish, there is still a lot of tension as there is no consensus on how to resolve the issues along the unverified LAC zone,” a- he declared. ”

Bo said its effects are still being felt today. He said that when China extended its helping hand to help India hit hard by the epidemic, it received a response in the form of an unfriendly attitude. He said this kind of behavior shows how cold the relationship has become.

“To avoid conflicts, the two sides should revisit the previous consensus on building confidence and implement less controversial measures,” he suggested. ”

In his lengthy article, Bo also touched on India’s request to withdraw troops from the remaining areas of eastern Ladakh to prevent the dispute from turning into a clash.

Bo mentioned: “It is necessary to look back. Between 1993 and 2013, there were four agreements between China and India at the government and military levels on confidence-building measures. This is more than any bilateral agreement that China has signed with any other country. ”

“In these agreements, the two countries have once again reiterated that they will reduce or limit their respective military forces on the LAC region to the minimum number,” he said.

“In fact, both sides are strengthening their military presence in the region,” he said. There is nothing to be surprised at in the aftermath of the crisis. But when the atmosphere has cooled, the two countries should think about how they can make the border areas peaceful and stable. ”

“Perhaps the boldest decision is to create a buffer zone in the most dangerous areas along the LAC… This is the most effective way to prevent a collision,” Bo said. ”

He mentioned that “the two parties have agreed that they will not patrol in areas of the LAC where there is no common agreement.” The creation of a buffer zone is a step forward in this direction. And it is also possible. ”

Another approach, he said, is to restore the Joint Working Group and ask diplomatic and military experts to work under its authority, so that the easier goals of confidence-building agreements can be achieved. .

He said new confidence-building measures should also be developed.

Noting that the 11 rounds of corps commander-level talks would contribute to de-escalation, he suggested, “Such regular meetings between senior army front-line officers should continue. ”

He said the two countries should also consider setting up hotlines for real-time dialogue. He made the suggestion, referring to China’s military hotlines with Russia, the United States, South Korea and Vietnam.

Bo said, “India often uses its hotline with Pakistan. There is no reason why there should not be such an intermediary between two neighboring countries with border disputes.

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