NEW DELHI: India is planning to urge China for exchanging maps of the western sector after the disengagement process along the Line of Actual Control is complete.
Sources said that the exchange would help achieve clarity over each other’s claims in the region and thus making patrolling easier.
“Even after 22 rounds of talks on the border issue, China has shown no urgency in exchange of maps or clarifying their stand on the LAC,” sources said and added that maps only for the central sector have been exchanged between the two countries.
The high-level meeting is scheduled to begin at 11:30 AM in Chushul on the Indian side of the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in eastern Ladakh. A senior Army officer said, “Corps Commander level meeting scheduled tomorrow around 1130hr at Chushul, on our side.”
The last exchange of maps took place in 2002 when special representatives held talks. The maps pertain to the Central sector around Sikkim, an area that is largely peaceful.
BR Deepak, sinologist and chairperson of the Centre for Chinese and South Asian Studies at JNU said that China fears opening a Pandora’s Box by sharing maps.
“China believes it will open a Pandora’s box as perceptions of the two countries with regard to the LAC are different, this will open many more points of frictions,” he said.
A former diplomat, who did not wish to be named, had a slightly different opinion.
“It has been China’s strategy after the 1962 war to demand for a package deal and walk out of agreements. They did it even during one of the special representative talks where initially they agreed to share maps of the eastern sector and backed out at the last minute,” he said.
Former US ambassador to India, Rich Verma said, “A central pillar of our partnership now rests on a free and open Indo-Pacific, a commitment to the rule of law, to international norms.”