India-China border personel meeting cancelled after Beijing fails to send invite

A month after the end of the 73-day military stand-off in the Doka La region, the relations between the troops of India and China does not seem to have reverted to normal as Beijing failed to invite New Delhi for a ceremonial border personnel meeting (BPM) to mark its 68th National Day.

China was supposed to host the meeting on Sunday at the five designated BPM locations across the 3,488 km-long Line of Actual Control (LAC). The points include Daulat Beg Oldie in northern Ladakh, Kibithoo in Arunachal Pradesh, Chusul in Ladakh, Bum-La near Tawang in Arunachal Pradesh and Nathu La in Sikkim.

Representational image. AFP

Representational image. AFP

"The People's Liberation Army did not send us an invite for the ceremonial meeting at the five BPM points on October 1," The Times of India quoted a source as saying.

The 28 August disengagement of armies from the disputed area in Doka La had given way to optimism over the then strained ties between the two neighbouring countries.

China's decision makes it the first time since 2005 that no BPM was held on the India-China border.

The BPM was launched by the two countries to sort out local issues and ensure peace and tranquillity along the sensitive border.

Both the sides had agreed to two ceremonial meetings every year, starting from 2005, after the signing of the 'Protocol on Modalities for the Implementation of Confidence Building Measures in the Military Field Along the Line of Actual Control in the India-China Border Areas'.

According to The Indian Express, these ceremonial meetings are attended by officers, soldiers and families from both sides, and are different from flag-meetings, which are convened to discuss border issues.

Due to the standoff, there was no ceremonial meeting between officers of the two armies on the on 15 August. However, personnel from the two sides had taken part in the informal exchange of sweets at Nathu La.

With inputs from PTI

Updated Date: Oct 02, 2017 14:22 PM

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