There can also be no doubt that the area of Eastern Ladakh in which the standoff took place is not in dispute - India's sovereignty over this area is something that China's own maps and diplomatic communications have acknowledged since the 1950s. India may withdraw its troops for the purposes of this encounter, but it is hoped that they will be back there, patrolling, as soon as it is possible. Also, China's demands that India halt or dismantle its new border defence infrastructure should be rejected out of hand. It is well known that China has built a complex and intricate defence infrastructure across the southern edge of Tibet. India has belatedly begun to build this infrastructure only in the past five years. Beijing obviously wants to preserve this mismatch as this ensures that it holds the edge in any land conflict with India. India must not back down on this front as this, in effect, would mean waving a white flag on the border. A more fundamental problem is the frequency with which such border flare-ups occur. The 2005 protocol governing how the militaries of both sides handle localised disputes needs to be reconsidered by both sides. The past practice of brushing these incidents under a carpet of secrecy must also come to an end. It is impractical to expect that such things will stay hidden and result in the odd case that does surface, becoming magnified out of proportion in the public sphere.
India and China have a mutually beneficial relationship in the economic space. The two fail to bind on the political front. This is not a problem. What needs to be worked out is an understanding that ensures that political friction does not spark a military fire. This modus vivendi is the missing part of this bilateral relationship - a goal only put back by the sort of incidents that happened at Depsang.