Q. What is Line of Actual Control?
A. The Line of Actual Control (LAC) is the demarcation that separates Indian-controlled territory from Chinese-controlled territory.
Q. How is LAC is different from the Line of Control (LoC) with Pakistan?
A. The LoC emerged from the 1948 ceasefire line negotiated by the United Nations (UN) after the Kashmir War. It was designated as the LoC in 1972, following the Shimla Agreement between the two countries. It is delineated on a map signed by the Director General of Military Operations (DGMO) of both armies and has the international sanctity of a legal agreement.
The LAC, in contrast, is only a concept – it is not agreed upon by the two countries, neither delineated on a map nor demarcated on the ground.
Q. What is length of LAC?
A. Length of the LAC: India considers the LAC to be 3,488 km long, while the Chinese consider it to be only around 2,000 km.
Q. What are the sectors across the LAC?
A. It is divided into three sectors: the eastern sector which spans Arunachal Pradesh and Sikkim (1346 km), the middle sector in Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh (545 km), and the western sector in Ladakh (1597 km).
The alignment of the LAC in the eastern sector is along the 1914 McMahon Line.
The McMohan line marked out previously unclaimed/undefined borders between Britain and Tibet.
The middle sector is the least disputed sector, while the western sector witnesses the highest transgressions between the two sides.
Q. What are the disagreements along LAC?
A.India’s claim line is different from that of the LAC. It is the line seen in the official boundary marked on the maps as released by the Survey of India, including Aksai Chin (occupied by China).
In China’s case, LAC corresponds mostly to its claim line, but in the eastern sector, it claims the entire Arunachal Pradesh as South Tibet.
The claim lines come into question when a discussion on the final international boundaries takes place, and not when the conversation is about a working border i.e. LAC.
Q. What are the border negotiations between both nations?
A.Indian Prime Minister’s visit to China in 2003 led to the agreement on appointing Special Representatives (SRs) and, in April 2005, there was agreement on the political parameters and principles that would underpin negotiations.
The aim was a comprehensive solution encompassing all three sectors. The agreed boundary would follow well-defined geographical features and respect the interests of the settled populations.
During Indian Prime Minister’s visit to China in May 2015, the proposal to clarify the LAC was rejected by the Chinese.
However, in the Wuhan (2018) and Mahabalipuram (2019) summits, both China and India had reaffirmed that they will make efforts to “ensure peace and tranquility in the border areas”.