Border Peace and Tranquility Agreement (BPTA)

News excerpt:

Thirty years on after the first India-China border agreement, the mechanisms built to keep the peace on the Line of Actual Control are fraying and in need of urgent revisiting.

About BPTA:

  • It was signed in September 1993 between India and China during Prime Minister Narasimha Rao’s visit to China.
  • Its objective was to maintain peace along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) by committing both nations to respect the status quo and reduce the risk of unplanned confrontations.
  • It required to prohibits the use or threat of force by either side and strict adherence to the LAC until a final boundary solution is reached.
  • It also calls for minimal military presence along the LAC, with reductions to be mutually agreed upon.
  • Over the 30 years since its signing, the BPTA has faced challenges due to inherent ambiguity surrounding the LAC, ultimately contributing to breakdowns in border agreements and increased tensions.
  • The limited nature of the agreement prompted an infrastructure race and escalated incidents, leading to the deadly Galwan clash in June 2020.

Line of Actual Control (LAC):

  • The LAC is the demarcation that separates Indian-controlled territory from Chinese-controlled territory.
  • India considers the LAC to be 3,488 km long, while the Chinese consider it to be only around 2,000 km.
  • It is divided into three sectors: the eastern sector which spans Arunachal Pradesh and Sikkim, the middle sector in Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh, and the western sector in Ladakh.

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