The World Outside: What The LAC Disengagement Process Mean For India and China

Feb 16, 2021 05:23 PM IST

In this week's news from the world outside, after nine long months, 9 rounds of corps commander level talks and 6 rounds of WMCC talks, finally the Indian and Chinese troops have started the disengagement process at the Line of Actual Control. Listen to Former foreign secretary Nirupama Rao talk about the situation and what it means for the two countries.

Biden – Xi phone call

- This was the first phone call after Joe Biden’s inauguration

- Call went on for almost 2 hours, as per reports

- Biden raised some critical issues with China-- its increasing assertive actions in the region including Taiwan, the crackdown on dissenting voices in Hong Kong and gross human rights abuses in Xinjiang

- President Biden also spoke about the need for a free and open Indo-Pacific

- Two days before the call US navy conducted exercises in the South China Sea

- The Theodore Roosevelt conducted coordinated dual-carrier operations with the Nimitz Carrier Strike Group

- US navy said it displayed its ability to operate in challenging environments

- China responded sharply accusing US of muscle-flexing. Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman Wang Wenbin said, “The United States frequently sent vessels and aircraft to the South China Sea to flex its muscles. This is not conducive to peace and stability in the region. China will continue to take necessary measures to firmly defend national sovereignty and security…”

Disengagement at Pangong Lake between Indian and Chinese troops

- After nine long months, 9 rounds of corps commander level talks and 6 rounds of WMCC talks, finally the disengagement process at the Line of Actual Control starting taking shape.

- The disengagement is happening at Pangong Lake, both north and south bank.

- MEA spokesperson Anurag Srivastava said that while the date of the next WMCC meeting hasn't been decided, the tenth round of corps commandr level talks will happen within 48 hours of the disengagement.

- Listen to former foreign secretary Nirupama Rao who was also India's Ambassador to both US and China to understand the current movement on the LAC and what it means for India and China as well as how the US-China rivalry is playing out in the South China Sea. About the disengagement, Rao cautions that India shouldn't become triumphalist like after Doklam. Eternal vigilance is important as there is the relationship is profoundly stressed and there is deep distrust.

Trump is not convicted in the Senate trial for insurrection at the Capitol

- Former US President Donald Trump was acquitted by a 57-43, which was 10 short of 2/3rd majority to convict the former President

- However, seven Republicans did cross over and vote with the 50 Democrats to convict him

- Trump is the only President in US history to ever be impeached twice and the first to have his impeachment tried in the Senate while out of office.

- Now, since Donald Trump is out of office and has no Presidential protections, he is facing multiple criminal investigations and civil state inquiries for his actions during the elections, counting and the insurrection

Canadian PM calls PM Modi for vaccine cooperation

- After a friction with India over his comments on the ongoing farmers protest in India, Canadian PM Justin Trudeau called the India PM for procuring COVID 19 vaccines for his country.

- Trudeau was told that, “India would do its best to support Canada's vaccination efforts, just as it had done for many other countries already.”

- The Indian press release said – “The two leaders also reiterated the common perspective shared by India and Canada on many important geo-political issues.” They also discussed challenges like climate change.

- The Canadian read out also mentioned – “The leaders discussed Canada and India’s commitment to democratic principles, recent protests, and the importance of resolving issues through dialogue.”

- Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Anurag Srivastava said – “On the farmers’ protests, Prime Minister Trudeau commended efforts of the government of India to choose the path of dialogue as befitting in democracy.”

Look Ahead

UN Human Rights Council to discuss report on Sri Lanka on 22nd February promotion reconciliation, accountability and human rights in Sri Lanka

- The UN Human rights council will discuss the UNOHRC report on 22nd February

- The report is scathing and says – “While fully acknowledging the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, the High Commissioner is deeply concerned by the trends emerging over the past year, which may represent early warning signs of a deteriorating human rights situation. The report highlights that developments over the past year have fundamentally changed the environment for advancing reconciliation, accountability and human rights in Sri Lanka, eroded democratic checks and balances and civic space, and reprised a dangerous exclusionary and majoritarian discourse.”

- In the context of reports that some EU countries might move a resolution, Sri Lankan Foreign Minister Dinesh Gunawardena while speaking exclusively to CNN News 18 questioned the possible resolution saying they are meant to thwart the “sovereignty” of Sri Lanka.