March 20, 2023

On Depsang and Demchok, India and China converse past one another.


The Depsang and Demchok incident of 2013 is a telling example of how India and China converse past one another. In April of that year, Chinese troops crossed the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in the Depsang sector of the Western Himalayas and set up camp 19 kilometers inside Indian territory. They refused to budge despite repeated requests from the Indian Army. The incident came to a head when the Indian Army also set up camp 10 kilometers inside Chinese territory in the Demchok sector, mirroring the Chinese troops’ actions.

The standoff lasted for three weeks and was only resolved when the two sides agreed to “disengage” – that is, to withdraw their troops back to their respective sides of the LAC. However, the incident highlighted the fact that India and China have very different perceptions of the LAC. For India, the LAC is the de facto border between the two countries, while for China, the LAC is merely a line on a map that does not represent any real territorial claim.

This incident is just one example of how the two countries often converse past one another. There is a lack of trust and mutual understanding between India and China, which often leads to miscommunication and

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