onsdag 13. oktober 2021

With all eyes on Taiwan, tensions are building on another Chinese frontier: India

China's increased military activity in the Taiwan Strait may have grabbed all the headlines in recent weeks, but thousands of miles to the west, another simmering territorial dispute on the country's borders looks more likely to boil over first. Just 16 months ago, Chinese and Indian troops fought a deadly hand-to-hand battle in the Himalayas along the Line of Actual Control (LAC), the ill-defined de facto border between the two nuclear powers. And now, tensions appear to be rising again.

According to unverified reports, troops from both sides have been briefly detained by the other, as military positions are fortified and talks to deescalate the situation seem at an impasse.

In 1962, India and China went to war over the remote, inhospitable border regions high in the mountains, eventually establishing the LAC. But the two countries do not agree on its precise location and both regularly accuse the other of overstepping it, or seeking to expand their territory. Since then, they have had a series of mostly non-lethal scuffles over the position of the border -- until the June 2020 clash, the deadliest on the LAC in more than 40 years.