Chinese Premier Li Keqiang and Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh signed a border defense cooperation agreement on Oct. 23, during the Indian Prime Minister’s three-day visit to Beijing. The objective of the agreement was to ease tensions between India and China over roughly 50,000 square miles of disputed territory along the India-China border, mainly concentrated in the Aksai Chin plateau in the west and the Eastern Himalayan region bordering Bhutan. Tensions escalated in May of this year when Chinese troops set up camp in a disputed area, resulting in a three-week standoff. The border defense agreement aims to increase communication between India and China in order to prevent unintended skirmishes: both sides agreed to inform each other of patrols in areas where the border is unclear, and to exercise maximum self-restraint if the two sides come into contact. (BBC, Reuters, Washington Post, Oct. 23, 2013)
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