What we can learn from Galwan Valley conflict


Illustration: Liu Rui/GT

Tuesday is the 1st anniversary of the deadly Galwan Valley skirmish. One year after, the trajectory of China-India bilateral relations remains uncertain. The bonhomie built up through informal summits between top leaders of the two countries were supposed to help resolve the long-standing border dispute.

Instead, this was the period of rapid increases in the frequency (and intensity) of their border face-offs. These were repeatedly resolved using well-established dialogue mechanisms. These face-offs were usually explained in terms of better infrastructure facilitating greater mobility from both sides. This superficial view missed the deeper undercurrents that were heralding how those dialogue mechanisms had long outlived their efficacy. Both sides needed to explore their new equilibria to even to sustain their minimalist aim of ensuring peace and tranquility.

For one, both China and India are no longer nations of 1990s. Both,…

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