Relations between India and China have become more fraught, especially after the People’s Liberation Army stepped into Ladakh in the Depsang Valley (Kashmir) without notification. Specifically, the Chinese army has allegedly trespassed on the Daulat Beg Oldi (DBO) sector part of Ladakh, a historic trade route connecting Ladakh to Yarkand in Xinjiang, China. This incursion has occurred approximately one month before new Premier Li Keqiang’s first formal to India, foreshadowing possible difficult ties going forward.
This has occurred as a result of “differences in perception of the Line of Actual Control,” also showing that this is not the first time such incursions have occurred. The Line of Actual Control was drawn in the Aksai Chin region, formerly part of the India/Pakistan Kashmir conflict, but the Chinese have claimed it as their own. In the meantime, the Ladakh Scouts, an infantry regiment specializing in mountain warfare, is preparing for a face-off.
On the Indian diplomatic side of things, India has asked Beijing to maintain the status quo from before the April 15th incursion. Unfortunately, the LAC is not demarcated in most regions, making such a request even more difficult to process. Yesterday, the Chinese government released a statement refusing to acknowledge the incursion but has expressed an interest to cooperate with India regarding these border issues, which could potentially increase tension.
India and China are two of the world’s fastest growing economies with the largest populations. However, they are lagging behind on becoming “developed” countries. Once both countries define their borders on acceptable terms, they can take the world stage and legitimize their presence.
Read more about the latest developments in China-India relations after the Ladakh incursion.