Agreement between the Government of the Republic of India and the Government of the People's Republic of China on Confidence-Building Measures in the Military Field Along the Line of Actual Control in the India-China Border Areas

Country/entity
China
India
Region
Asia and Pacific
Agreement name
Agreement between the Government of the Republic of India and the Government of the People's Republic of China on Confidence-Building Measures in the Military Field Along the Line of Actual Control in the India-China Border Areas
Date
29/11/1996
Agreement status
Multiparty signed/agreed
Interim arrangement
No
Agreement/conflict level
Interstate/interstate conflict (Sino-Indian Border Dispute (1962 - )
There are two main areas that are disputed by China and India. These areas are largely unpopulated and are sparse with resources, but strategically important for both powers. Tensions mounted during the 1962 border war and 1986 skirmish. In the North-West there is the Aksai Chin plateau that is administered by China, but is claimed by India. Bordered by Tibet and Xinjiang, this border is approximately 685 miles long. The dispute in the Eastern sector on the tri-border area between India, China and Myanmar is largely due to a disagreement over the McMahon Line named after Sir Henry McMahon, the representative of the Indian Government to the Simla Conference of 1914. The line itself follows the watersheds of the Himalayas from Bhutan to Myanmar. China does not recognise the McMahon line, due to its original imperial context, and their claim runs along the foothills in Indian Territory. The area under dispute covers an area of 36,000 square miles. The Middle sector between Bhutan and Nepal is demarcated by the Himalayan watersheds. The border was confirmed in the British-Chinese Convention of 1890 and was undisputed until a brief standoff emerged in this sector in June 2017 on the Doklam plateau.
Since 2003 intensified efforts by the two powers have resulted in talks on the border issues handled by special representatives. However, the two sides continue to have differing opinions on the location of the 'Line of Actual Control' (LAC), which has led to incursions and military build-ups in 2009, 2013 and 2017.
Sino-Indian Border Dispute (1962 - ) )
Stage
Pre-negotiation/process (Principles)
Conflict nature
Territory
Peace process
25: China-India border dispute peace process
Parties
Government of the Republic of India and the Government of the People's Republic of China
Third parties
Description
This agreement provides for border security and confidence measures between the parties to the agreement. It calls for military disclosure when the parties are undertaking border exercises and for the reduction of troop levels in the border areas. It also allows the parties to observe and inspect troop movements in each other territory upon invitation.

Agreement document
CN_IN_961129_Agreement between China and India.pdf []

Groups

Children/youth
No specific mention.
Disabled persons
No specific mention.
Elderly/age
No specific mention.
Migrant workers
No specific mention.
Racial/ethnic/national group
No specific mention.
Religious groups
No specific mention.
Indigenous people
No specific mention.
Other groups
No specific mention.
Refugees/displaced persons
No specific mention.
Social class
No specific mention.

Gender

Women, girls and gender
No specific mention.
Men and boys
No specific mention.
LGBTI
No specific mention.
Family
No specific mention.

State definition

State definition
Nature of state (general)
Page 1, Preamble, Believing that it serves the fundamental interests of the peoples of India and China to foster a long-term good-neighbourly relationship in accordance with the 'five principles of mutual respect for sovereignty and territorial integrity, mutual non-aggression, non-interference in each other's internal affairs, equality and mutual benefit and peaceful co-existence,

Governance

Political institutions (new or reformed)
No specific mention.
Constitution's affirmation/renewal
No specific mention.
Constitutional reform/making
No specific mention.
Elections
No specific mention.
Electoral commission
No specific mention.
Political parties reform
No specific mention.
Civil society
No specific mention.
Traditional/religious leaders
No specific mention.
Public administration
No specific mention.

Power sharing

Political power sharing
No specific mention.
Territorial power sharing
No specific mention.
Economic power sharing
No specific mention.
Military power sharing
No specific mention.

Human rights and equality

Human rights/RoL
No specific mention.
Equality
No specific mention.
Democracy
No specific mention.
Protection measures
No specific mention.
Human rights framework
No specific mention.
Civil and political rights
No specific mention.
Socio-economic rights
No specific mention.
NHRI
No specific mention.
Regional or international human rights institutions
No specific mention.
Mobility/access
No specific mention.
Detention procedures
No specific mention.
Media and communication
No specific mention.
Citizenship
No specific mention.

Justice sector reform

Criminal justice and emergency law
No specific mention.
State of emergency provisions
No specific mention.
Judiciary and courts
No specific mention.
Prisons and detention
No specific mention.
Traditional Laws
No specific mention.

Socio-economic reconstruction

Development or socio-economic reconstruction
No specific mention.
National economic plan
No specific mention.
Natural resources
No specific mention.
International funds
No specific mention.
Business
No specific mention.
Taxation
No specific mention.
Banks
No specific mention.

Land, property and environment

Land reform/rights
No specific mention.
Pastoralist/nomadism rights
No specific mention.
Cultural heritage
No specific mention.
Environment
ARTICLE VIII
(1) Should the personnel of one side cross the line of actual control and enter the other side because of unavoidable circumstances like natural disasters, the other side shall extend all possible assistance to them and inform their side, as soon as possible regarding the forced or inadvertent entry across the line of actual control. The modalities of return of the concerned personnel to their own side shall be settled through mutual consultations.
(2) The two sides shall provide each other, at the earliest possible, with information pertaining to natural disasters and epidemic diseases in contiguous border areas which might affect the other side. The exchange of information shall take place either through diplomatic channels or at border personnel meetings.
Water or riparian rights or access
No specific mention.

Security sector

Security Guarantees
Page 2, ARTICLE II
The two sides reiterate their determination to seek a fair, reasonable and mutually acceptable settlement of the boundary question. Pending an ultimate solution to the boundary question, the two sides reaffirm their commitment to strictly respect and observe the line-of actual control in the India-China border areas. No activities of either side shall overstep the line of actual control.
Ceasefire
General commitments
[Summary] No explicit ceasefire mentioned, however agreement contains aspects relating to maining a ceasefire following the 1962 war.

Page 7, ARTICLE XII
This Agreement is subject to ratification and shall enter into force on the date of exchange of instruments of ratification. It shall remain in effect until either side decides to terminate it after giving six months' notice in writing. It shall become invalid six months after the notification.
Signed in duplicate in New Delhi on 29 November, 1996 in the Hindi,
Police
No specific mention.
Armed forces
Page 1, Preamble, ... Reaffirming that neither side shall use or threaten to use force against the other by any means or seek unilateral military superiority,...

Page 1, Preamble, ... Recognizing the need for effective confidence building measures in the military field along the line of actual control in the border areas between the two sides,...

Page 2, ARTICLE I
Neither side shall use its military capability against the other side. No armed forces deployed by either side in the border areas along the line of actual control as part of their respective military strength shall be used to attack the other side, or engage in military activities that threaten the other side or undermine peace, tranquility and stability in the India-China border areas.

Page 2-3, ARTICLE III
The two sides agree to take the following measures to reduce or limit their respective military forces within mutually agreed geographical zones along the line of actual control in the India-China border areas:
(1) The two sides reaffirm that they shall reduce or limit their respective military forces within mutually agreed geographical zones along the line of actual control in the India-China border areas to minimum levels compatible with the friendly and good neighborly relations between the two countries and consistent with the principle of mutual and equal security.
(2) The two sides shall reduce or limit the number of field army, border defence forces, paramilitary forces and any other mutually agreed category of armed force deployed in mutually agreed geographical zones along the line of actual control to ceilings to be mutually agreed upon. The major categories of armaments to be reduced, or limited are as follows: combat tanks, infantry combat vehicles, guns (including howitzers) with 75 mm or bigger calibre, mortars with 120 mm or bigger calibre, surface-to-surface missiles, surface-to-air missiles and any other weapon system mutually agreed upon.
(3) The two sides shall exchange data on the military forces and armaments to be reduced or limited and decide on ceilings on military forces and armaments to be kept by each side within mutually agreed geographical zones along the line of actual control in the India-China border areas. The ceilings shall be determined in conformity with the requirement of the principle of mutual and equal security, with due consideration being given to parameters such as the nature of terrain, road communication and other infrastructure and time taken to induct/deinduct troops and armaments.

Page 3, ARTICLE IV
In order to maintain peace and tranquility along the line of actual control in the India-China border areas and to prevent any tension in the border areas due to misreading by either side of the other side's intentions:
(1) Both sides shall avoid holding large scale military exercises involving more than one Division (approximately 1 5,000 troops) in close proximity of the line of actual control in the India-China border areas. However, if such exercises are to be conducted, the strategic direction of the main force involved shall not be towards the other side.
(2) If either side conducts a major military exercise involving more than one Brigade Group (approximately 5,000 troops) in close proximity of the line of actual control in the India-China border areas, it shall give the other side prior notification with regard to type, level, planned duration and area of exercise as well as the number and type of units or formations participating in the exercise.
(3) The date of completion of the exercise and deinduction of troops from the area of exercise shall be intimated to the other side within five days of completion or deinduction.
(4) Each side shall be entitled to obtain timely clarification from the side undertaking the exercise in respect of data specified in Paragraph 2 of the present Article.

Page 3-5, ARTICLE V
With a view to preventing air intrusions across the line of actual control in the India-China border areas and facilitating overflights and landings by military aircraft:
(1) Both sides shall take adequate measures to ensure that air intrusions across the line of actual control do not take place. However, if an intrusion does take place, it should cease as soon as detected and the incident shall be promptly investigated by the side operating the aircraft. The results of the investigation shall be immediately communicated, through diplomatic channels or at border personnel meetings, to the other side.
(2) Subject to Paragraphs 3 and 5 of this Article, combat aircraft (to include fighter, bomber, reconnaissance, military trainer, armed helicopter and other armed aircraft) shall not fly within ten kilometers of the line of actual control.
(3) If either side is required to undertake flights of combat aircraft within ten kilometers from the line of actual control, it shall give the following information in advance to the other side, through diplomatic channels:
(a) Type and number of combat aircraft;
(b) Height of the proposed flight (in meters);
(c) Proposed duration of flights (normally not to exceed ten days);
(d) Proposed timing of flights; and
(e) Area of operations, defined in latitude and longitude.
(4) Unarmed transport aircraft, survey aircraft and helicopters shall be permitted to fly up to the line of actual control.
(5) No military aircraft of either side shall fly across the line of actual control, except by prior permission. Military aircraft of either side may fly across the line of actual control or overfly the other side's airspace or land on the other side only after obtaining the latter's prior permission after providing the latter with detailed information on the flight in accordance with the international practice in this regard.
Notwithstanding the above stipulation, each side has the sovereign right to specify additional conditions, including at short notice, for flights or landings of military aircraft of the other side on its side of the line of actual control or through its airspace.
(6) In order to ensure flight safety in emergency situations, the authorities designated by the two sides may contact each other by the quickest means of communications available.

Page 5, ARTICLE VI
With a view to preventing dangerous military activities along the line of actual control in the India-China border areas, the two sides agree as follows:
(1) Neither side shall open fire, cause bio-degradation, use hazardous chemicals, conduct blast operations or hunt with guns or explosives within two kilometers from the line of actual control. This prohibition shall not apply to routine firing activities in small arms firing ranges.
(2) If there is a need to conduct blast operations within two kilometers of the line of actual control as part of developmental activities, the other side shall be informed through diplomatic channels or by convening a border personnel meeting, preferably five days in advance.
(3) While conducting exercises with live ammunition in areas close to the line of actual control, precaution shall be taken to ensure that a bullet or a missile does not accidentally fall on the other side across the line of actual control and causes harm to the personnel or property of the other side.
(4) If the border personnel of the two sides come in a face-to-face situation due to differences on the alignment of the line of actual control o any other reason, they shall exercise self-restraint and take all necessary steps to avoid an escalation of the situation. Both sides shall also enter into immediate consultations through diplomatic and/or other available channels to review the situation and prevent any escalation of tension.

Page 6,
DDR
No specific mention.
Intelligence services
No specific mention.
Parastatal/rebel and opposition group forces
No specific mention.
Withdrawal of foreign forces
No specific mention.
Corruption
No specific mention.
Crime/organised crime
No specific mention.
Drugs
No specific mention.
Terrorism
No specific mention.

Transitional justice

Transitional justice general
No specific mention.
Amnesty/pardon
No specific mention.
Courts
No specific mention.
Mechanism
No specific mention.
Prisoner release
No specific mention.
Vetting
No specific mention.
Victims
No specific mention.
Missing persons
No specific mention.
Reparations
No specific mention.
Reconciliation
No specific mention.

Implementation

UN signatory
No specific mention.
Other international signatory
No specific mention.
Referendum for agreement
No specific mention.
International mission/force/similar
No specific mention.
Enforcement mechanism
Page 6, ARTICLE IX
In case a doubtful situation develops in the border region, or in case one of the sides has some questions or doubts regarding the manner in which the other side is observing this Agreement, either side has the right to seek a clarification from the other side. The clarifications sought and replies to them shall be conveyed through diplomatic channels.

Page 7,
ARTICLE XI
Detailed implementation measures required under Article I to Article X of this Agreement shall be decided through mutual consultations in the India-China Joint Working Group on the Boundary Question. The India- China Diplomatic and Military Expert Group shall assist the India-China Joint working Group in devising implementation measures under the Agreement.

The University of Edinburgh