China and India held the 18th round of Corps Commander Level Meeting on Sunday, a move Chinese experts said on Monday showed that the border issue is shifting from a standoff to normalized management.
The militaries of China and India held a deep exchange of views on resolving the relevant questions in accordance with the two heads of states' important consensus in their 18th round of Corps Commander Level Meeting held on Sunday, Mao Ning, a spokesperson at China's Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said at a press conference on Monday.
The 17th round of meeting was held about four months ago in December 2022.
The 18th round of meetings was fruitful, as it showed the two sides are willing to further ease the border situation and realize normalization of bilateral ties amid the current international and regional situations, Qian Feng, director of the research department at the National Strategy Institute at Tsinghua University, told the Global Times on Monday.
It has been almost three years since the start of the China-India border standoff, and the two sides have avoided an escalation through dialogues based on managing differences and meeting each other halfway, Qian noted.
The China-India border issue is now gradually shifting from a conflict and a standoff to a normalized management phase, and the situation on the border is expected to become steadier and calmer in the future, Qian said. "But the border issue remains complex, so it still requires both sides to further implement mechanisms at all levels and through different channels to meet each other halfway as much as possible, so as to find a fair and reasonable solution," he said.
Citing Indian officials familiar with the matter, Hindustan Times reported on Sunday that Chinese State Councilor and Minister of National Defense Li Shangfu is expected to visit India for a Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) meeting in New Delhi from Thursday to Friday.
Li and Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu are expected to hold bilateral meetings with Indian Defense Minister Rajnath Singh on Thursday, while the main SCO defense ministers' meeting will be held on Friday, the Indian report said.
Qian said that the 18th round of military meetings between China and India will create the proper atmosphere for the SCO meeting, at a time when the SCO is expected to play a more influential role in the world under the current international situation, and as Iran prepares to join the body.
A meeting between the Chinese and Indian defense ministers would also be a good restart after the border standoff and the pandemic, as the two sides will be able to enhance consensus, resolve differences and expand cooperation, Qian said.