Sunday, May 24, 2020

Chinese troops cross into Indian territory, then fortify positions

Vijeta Uniyal reports in Legal Insurrection,
The border tensions between China and India have escalated once again, after hundreds of Chinese troops crossed into Indian territory. Soldiers of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) breached the Indian border at multiple locations in the northern Himalayan region of Ladakh, Indian media reports said on Saturday.

...The border intrusion was followed by a Chinese build-up along the Indian border. Chinese troops “trespassed on Indian territory at three different locations and set up fortified encampments,” Indian strategic expert Brahma Chellaney noted on Twitter.

The United States backed India amid recent aggressive actions by the Chinese army. Ambassador Alice Wells, the senior U.S. diplomat for South and Central Asia, called Beijing’s behavior towards India provocative and disturbing. “The flare-ups on the border, I think, are a reminder that Chinese aggression is not always just rhetorical. And so whether it’s on the South China Sea or whether it’s along the border with India we continue to see provocations and disturbing behavior by China that raises questions about how China seeks to use its growing power,” she said on Wednesday.

China and India have a long history of border conflicts. Communist China disputes parts of its 2,200 mile Himalayan border with New Delhi. Chinese dictator Mao Zedong made sweeping territorial claims on India after annexing the Buddhist kingdom of Tibet which shared its western border with India. China attacked India in 1962, a war that ended in a devastating defeat for India, which lost around 16,600 square miles of its territory.

India faces the Chinese threat not just on its eastern and northern borders. The military planners in New Delhi are alarmed by Beijing’s so-called string-of-pearls strategy. China is gaining control over a network of strategic ports stretching from the Indian Ocean to the Persian Gulf, giving the Chinese Navy the ability to close India’s shipping lanes in case of a conflict.

The current wave of Chinese aggression in the wake of the Wuhan coronavirus pandemic is not limited to India. In recent months, the Chinese air force has repeatedly violated Taiwan’s air space, an independent nation which Beijing considers a breakaway province.

Read more here.

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