Three months after their deadliest confrontation in decades, tensions on the disputed Indo-China border are getting worse.
Asian veterans this week accused each other of sending troops into the other’s territory and fired warning shots for the first time in 45 years, raising the specter of a full-scale military conflict.
His foreign ministers are expected to discuss the provocation in Moscow on Thursday on the occasion of a regional security and economic meeting.
Indian Army vehicles ply on the highway leading to Ladakh on Wednesday as tension increases along the border with China.
The high-altitude standoff along the eastern part of what is known as the Line of Actual Control – a loose demarcation – dramatically alters the already appalling relationship between nuclear-armed neighbors.
The hand-to-hand fight with clubs, stones and fists began on 15 June with a furious brawl in early May before 20 Indian soldiers were killed. China is believed to have taken casualties, but has not given any numbers.
India and China inherited their territorial disputes from the period of British colonial rule.
Three years after India’s independence in 1947 and a year after the Communists came to power in China, the new government in Beijing began asserting its claims, rejecting earlier treaties that it signed under Duress Went, but what India says is certain.
Beijing’s approach has been strengthened under the leadership of China’s most powerful leader Xi Jinping in decades, who vowed not to surrender even an inch of territory.
An Indian security guard is on guard this week after shooting for the first time in 45 years
In June, 20 Indian soldiers, including a colonel, were killed during a large-scale conflict on the border.
In the 1950s, China began construction of a strategic road on the uninhabited Aksai Chin Plateau to connect its contiguous regions of Tibet and Xinjiang. India objected and claimed Aksai Chin as part of Ladakh, which itself belonged to the former princely state of Kashmir which is now divided between India and Pakistan.
Relations were further strained by the Tibetan spiritual leader of India, the Dalai Lama, setting up the self-proclaimed government-in-exile after fleeing his homeland in 1959 during a humiliating rebellion against Chinese rule.
A bitter month of war in 1962 led to differences. Firefights broke again in 1967 and 1975, causing more deaths on both sides. They have since adopted protocols, including an agreement not to use firearms, but those protocols have been fragmented in this year’s conflict.
Meanwhile, China began to strengthen its ties with India’s arch-Pakistan and support the Kashmir issue.
The high-altitude deadlock in the eastern part known as the Line of Actual Control – a loose demarcation – dramatically changes an already broken relationship.
The fiercely contested LAC separated the Chinese and Indian occupied territories from Ladakh in the west of India’s eastern state of Arunachal Pradesh, which China claims as a whole. It is broken in parts where Nepal and Bhutan share a border with China.
According to India, the actual limit is 3,488 kilometers (2,167-mi) long, although China promotes a much lower figure. As its name suggests, it divides areas of physical control rather than territorial claims.
Overall, China claims an area of about 90,000 square kilometers (35,000 sq mi) in the north-east of India, including Arunachal Pradesh with a predominantly Buddhist population.
India says that China occupies 38,000 square kilometers (15,000 sq mi) of its territory in the Aksai Chin Plateau, which India considers part of Ladakh, where the current face-off is taking place.
Despite more than three dozen rounds of talks over the years and several meetings between Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping, they are nowhere to settle their dispute.
Since the 1962 war, both economies have grown significantly, but China has overtaken India, enjoying a large trade surplus with its neighbor.
The LAC, fighting the Ladakh region of India’s eastern state of Arunachal Pradesh, isolating the Chinese and Indian occupied territories, fought fiercely, which China fully claims
Increasing economic rivalry has linked regional and geopolitical differences. India has tried to capitalize on China’s rising labor costs and worsen relations with the United States and Europe to become a new base for foreign manufacturers.
India has become increasingly concerned after China recently built a road as part of the Multibillion-Dollar Belt and Road Initiative, to pursue a foreign policy recently signed by Xi, which has been strongly opposed by India.
Meanwhile, India’s growing strategic alliances with the US have spread wings in Beijing, which sees the relationship as a retaliation against China’s rise. The growing presence of the Chinese Navy in the Indian Ocean and Beijing due to Indian apprehensions of China’s territorial expansion is strengthening relations not only with Pakistan but also with Sri Lanka and Nepal.
Armed with a spear: Chinese troops near the disputed Himalayan border with India this week where shelling is banned, but in June the troops wage a deadly war
India is jockeying for strategic equality with China, largely ramping up its military infrastructure with LAC.
Increasing tensions, India unilaterally declared Ladakh a federal territory and separated it from disputed Kashmir in August 2019, ending its semi-autonomous status.
Sometime later, lawmakers in India’s ruling party began advocating for control of some China-controlled areas, which was worrying for Beijing.
Border tensions remain despite talks at military, diplomatic and political levels. The border has not been seen in years, with major nationalists from both countries.
The Indian Air Force’s (IAF) C-17 Globemaster transport aircraft flew over a mountain range in Leh in the Ladakh region on 7 September. Claims from both India and China were thrown down along the disputed border, amidst further military tension that the nuclear-armed nation
After being relatively unpublished from the COVID-19 pandemic, China is also considered regionally, as it is meeting military ambitions against its neighbors, in particular the continued gains through the use of the ‘salmy slicing’ strategy in order to obtain.
While Chinese troops say that India is its territory in Ladakh, India captured at least one unmanned mountain last week, prompting Beijing to demand that New Delhi evacuate the region.
Experts warn that if military hostilities are not stopped, the war may be next.
‘If diplomacy fails, guns talk. The natural culmination of what we have been witnessing during the last four months is ‘Lieutenant General DS Hooda, who was the Chief of the Northern Command of the Indian Army from 2014 to 2016’. Things are increasingly out of control by then. A breakthrough in negotiations. ‘
Wang Lian of Peking University’s Department of International Relations considers the possibility of a wider conflict less likely, despite preparations from both sides.
“China has shown restraint in bilateral relations with India and may prevent India from completing it in the future,” Wang said.