India and China have entered a new low in their bilateral relations. Having fought a war in 1962, it took over three decades for both countries to achieve normalcy at the borders, aided by a series of border management agreements and protocols to maintain tranquility along the border areas. However, the June 2020 Galwan clashes have changed that permanently. This paper argues that the current escalation of border clashes is both a symptom and consequence of the breakdown of the bilateral border management framework which has been dented since the 2017 Doklam standoff between both countries. Delving into diplomatic history relating to Doklam and Galwan, the findings point to the need to correct the epistemic criteria used to reproduce claims of an unambiguous boundary between India and China by both countries, in order to ensure abatement of similar outcomes. © 2020 The Royal Society for Asian Affairs.