Vastavam web: The militaries of India and China have reportedly agreed on the long-pending proposal to set up a hotline between their headquarters after the informal summit between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Xi Jinping in Wuhan, the official Chinese media said today.Modi met Xi last week in an unprecedented two-day ‘heart-to-heart’ summit to “solidify” the India-China relationship.
“Leaders of the two nations have reportedly agreed to set up a hotline between their respective military headquarters,” state-run Global Times daily reported today.”The two leaders further directed their militaries to earnestly implement various confidence building measures (CBM) agreed upon between the two sides, including the principle of mutual and equal security, and strengthen existing institutional arrangements and information sharing mechanisms to prevent incidents in border regions,” the Ministry of External Affairs had said in a press release.
The hotline was regarded as a major CBM as it would enable both the headquarters to intensify communication to avert tensions between border patrol in the 3488-km Line of Actual Control (LAC) and to avert standoffs like Doklam.The hotline was under discussion for long but reportedly bogged down over procedures like at what level it should be established in the headquarters. The Chinese military too underwent major reforms initiated by Xi under which its command structures have undergone major changes.
For instance, India and Pakistan have hotline facilities between Director Generals of Military Operations (DGMO). But in the context of China, the Chinese military has to identify a designated official to operate such a facility.Chinese military experts said the hotline would build trust between the two militaries.
Military trust between China and India is crucial to bilateral relations and demands patience and sincerity from both sides, experts were quoted as saying by the daily. “The informal summit in Wuhan is a good start to alleviating stress between the two countries, which is the basis for future communication and trust building,” Zhao Gancheng, director of the Shanghai Institute for International Studies’ Centre for Asia-Pacific Studies, told the daily.”It is also important to implement the agreement on border issues that have been recognised by both countries,” Zhao noted.
The armies of India and China yesterday held a Border Personnel Meeting in Chusul, Ladakh, during which both sides resolved to maintain peace and tranquillity along the LAC, besides agreeing to work on additional CBM.