india-china-relations-in-deescalation-escalation-mode

Context: In a first such face off between Indian and Chinese forces in 45 years, 20 Indian soldiers were killed in the Galwan Valley in Ladakh.

More on the news:

  • The violent face-off took place during the de-escalation process underway in the Galwan Valley and resulted in casualties on both sides. 
  • In a statement, the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) accused India of going back on its word and violating commitments reached by both sides at Corps Commander-level talks.
  • The last major military skirmish between India and China took place at Nathu La in September 1967. The clash eventually left 88 Indian soldiers dead and more than 300 Chinese soldiers were killed.
  • The last incident of firing and fatalities on the border with China occurred in 1975 when a patrol team of the Assam Rifles was ambushed by the Chinese troops at Tulung La in Arunachal Pradesh resulting in the death of four personnel.

Timeline of the latest stand-off on the LAC:

Source: The Hindu

Why is China flexing its muscle?

The tensions on the Line of Actual Control (LAC) between Indian security forces and China’s PLA have renewed the question of how New Delhi should deal with a rising, assertive Beijing.

  • Using Article 370: The Chinese establishment, and others, are using the changed constitutional status of Jammu and Kashmir to justify the PLA’s aggression and make Beijing a party to the Kashmir dispute.
    • But this argument holds little water because the changes in the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir have no impact on the current territorial disposition with China and Pakistan.
  • Growing military might: The reasons behind China’s muscle-flexing in fact, are the PLA’s growing military capabilities and the political will to use them. 

Way ahead:

  • Reducing its economic and military imbalance: New Delhi must reduce its military and economic imbalance with Beijing for long-term regional stability and its own security. 
  • Example of South China Sea: Like China’s assertiveness in the South China Sea to gain effective control over the disputed waters, New Delhi has to change the situation on the ground in the disputed parts of Jammu and Kashmir.

Source: https://indianexpress.com/article/explained/clash-in-ladakh-india-china-lac-6462651/

https://indianexpress.com/article/explained/explained-what-happened-in-nathu-la-in-1967-india-china-border-dispute-6462532/

https://indianexpress.com/article/explained/india-china-line-of-actual-control-6461077/

Image Source: BBC