A Himalayan Cause or Battle of Egos? A Breakdown of Military Clashes Between India and China

The ongoing border stalemate started last April when Indian and Chinese soldiers engaged in a brief duel over a patrolling disagreement. Tensions, however, escalated as frequent physical altercations ensued between the troops at different locations, including one in the Galwan Valley last June in which at least 20 Indian soldiers lost their lives.

A “minor” face-off between the Indian Army and China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA) took place at Naku La of Sikkim sector five days ago, the Indian Army has confirmed. Government sources in New Delhi claim that 20 PLA troopers and four soldiers on the Indian side have been injured in the stand-off that erupted after the Chinese side allegedly tried to intrude into the Indian territory.

Actions Don’t Match Words

Since the border stand-off erupted last April over infrastructure development along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) — a loosely demarcated boundary line that separates the Indian-controlled area from the Chinese-controlled region — the two countries have held nine rounds of commander-level talks in addition to diplomatic and ministerial level meetings during the past ten months. The meetings have produced no concrete results with the two sides, so far, being able to cobble-up only a loose consensus to abide by the boundary agreements to ease the persisting tensions.

The two sides continue to reinforce troops along the border even after last September’s commander-level meeting ended on a positive note.

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