China-India Frontier Tensions: Are Track II Efforts Possible?


René Wadlow – TRANSCEND Media Service

In a 24 June 2020 message to the Secretary General of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, Mr Vladimir Novov, the Association of World Citizens expressed its active concern with the 15 June death of Indian and Chinese military in Ladakh on the India-China frontier and the possibility that the tensions will increase. While there have been brief discussions among Indian and Chinese authorities to prevent escalation, there have been no real negotiations. Negotiation is a basic political decision-making process, to facilitate compromise without loss of essential objectives.

The Indian Ministry of External Affairs said on 25 June that since early May, the Chinese have been amassing a large contingent of troops and arms along the Line of Actual Contril ((LAC). Also, within India, there has been a good deal of media attention, highly critical of China, given to the events.  In addition, there have been calls for a boycott of Chinese goods, and some Chinese products have been removed from Indian shops.

The Association of World Citizens believes that the Shanghai Cooperation Organization is well placed to propose mediation or other forms of tension reduction in response to these developments which threaten regional peace and stability.  There is a need for prompt measures as the India-China tensions add to existing tensions between the USA and China as well as boundary issues with Asian States in the South China Sea.

There may be a role for “Track II” non-governmental efforts and exchanges.  As the World Citizen and Quaker economist Kenneth Boulding in a little verse writes,

“When Track One will not do,
 We have to travel on Track Two
 But for results to be abiding,
 The Tracks must meet upon some siding”.

As Citizens of the World, we devote ourselves to the safeguarding, restoration and construction of peace through dialogue, cooperation and reconciliation. We need to facilitate contacts of the China-India frontier issues to see what doors might open.


René Wadlow is a member of the TRANSCEND Network for Peace Development Environment. He is President of the Association of World Citizens, an international peace organization with consultative status with ECOSOC, the United Nations organ facilitating international cooperation and problem-solving in economic and social issues, and editor of Transnational Perspectives.

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This article originally appeared on Transcend Media Service (TMS) on 29 Jun 2020.

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