India-China Joint Working Group on the boundary question

The Joint Working Group (JWG) was the first official bilateral administrative mechanism formed post the 1962 boundary war by India and China to discuss the boundary question with the aim of finding a solution. It was officially announced in a joint press communique in Beijing on 23 December 1988. A total of fifteen meetings of the JWG were held between 1989 and 2005. The last meeting was held on 30–31 March 2005.

China–India border, showing two large disputed areas in Aksai Chin and Arunachal Pradesh and several smaller disputes (map by CIA)

While the JWG was not able to resolve the boundary question, it was an important bilateral mechanism through which India and China gradually resolved certain aspects of the border problem. A "hotline" was set up between military commanders, border posts were opened, mechanisms for conveying troop positions were just some of the incremental changes accomplished.[1]


The relevant part of the joint press communique reads:[2]

The leaders of the two countries held [...] discussions on the Sino-Indian boundary question [...] They also agreed to develop their relations actively in other fields and work hard to create a favourable climate and conditions for a fair and reasonable settlement of the boundary question while seeking a mutually acceptable solution to this question. In this context, concrete steps will be taken, such as establishing a joint working group on the boundary question and a joint group on economic relations and trade and science and technology.

The JWG would be led by the Indian foreign secretary and the Chinese deputy foreign minister.[3] The JWG had a three-point mandate, summarized as, make recommendations and maintain border peace pending a final solution utilizing the expertise of military experts, communications experts, legal experts etc.[3][4]


  1. 30 June–4 July 1989[5]
  2. 30–31 August 1990[5]
  3. 12–14 May 1991[5]
  4. 20–21 February 1992[5]
  5. 27–29 October 1992[5]
  6. 24–27 June 1993[5]
  7. 6–7 July 1994[5]
  8. 18–20 August 1995[6]
  9. 16–18 October 1996[6]
  10. 4–5 August 1997[6]
  11. 26–27 April 1999[6]
  12. 28–29 April 2000[6]
  13. 31 July–1 August 2001[6]
  14. 21–22 November 2002[6]
  15. 30–31 March 2005[6]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Singh, Bhartendu Kumar (7 June 1999). "Sino-Indian Ties: The 11th Round of Joint Working Group Meeting". Institute of Peace and Conflict Studies. Retrieved 2021-02-28.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  2. ^ "Sino-Indian Joint Press Communique, Beijing". 23 December 1988. Retrieved 2021-02-28.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  3. ^ a b Sali 1998, p. 114.
  4. ^ Panda 2017, p. 41.
  5. ^ a b c d e f g Sali 1998, p. 114–120.
  6. ^ a b c d e f g h Panda 2017, p. 42.