India-China Border Tension

Published: September 2, 2020

Indian and Chinese troops have clashed at two points along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) over the boundary claims leaving personnel injured on both sides.

What’s the issue?
India and China share a 3,488 km long boundary. The entire boundary is disputed. The line, which delineates the boundary between the two countries, is popularly called the McMahon line, after its author Sir Henry McMahon.In 1957, China occupied Aksai Chin and built a road through it. This episode was followed by intermittent clashes along the border, which finally culminated in the border war of 1962. The boundary, which came into existence after the war, came to be known as Line of Actual Control (LAC). It is a military held line.

Why China has Increased Deployment at the LAC?

  • India’s decision to strengthen its border infrastructure (Darbuk-Shyok-Daulat Beg Oldie road).
  • India’s United States tilt (e.g. Quad) amid US-China tensions.
  • China views India’s assertions regarding Gilgit-Baltistan, as an implicit attack on the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), China’s flagship programme.
  • China’s growing assertiveness over the South China Sea.
  • Political and economic tensions within China due to Covid-19 pandemic.
  • India being a growing power in Asian region.

How India has responded?

  • India has moved in additional divisions, tanks and artillery across the LAC to match Chinese deployments.
  • India has approved the purchase of 33 Russian fighter jets and upgrades to 59 war planes
  • Citing the “emergent nature of threats” from mobile applications, government has banned 59 Chinese apps.
  • Indian government tightened FDI norms coming from the countries which share land borders with India. Government approval has been made mandatory.

For India, the first priority has to be to restore the status quo ante at the border by displaying military strength diplomatic work. India cannot afford to sever all its economic links with the world’s second-largest economy, even in the digital space. However, through Atmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan, India can try to replace Chinese products with domestic products in the sectors where it is possible. Further, it needs to boost up its economic relations with other countries.

 

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