There has been a stand-off at the disputed border between India and China in the Ladakh region and both countries are at the brink of a prolonged conflict. There have been skirmishes and India has even lost territory to Chinese troops while continuing to maintain the war hysteria.
Earlier this month, a scuffle broke out between Chinese and Indian troops in the Himalayan region of Ladakh. The soldiers were engaged in fistfights and stone-pelting, resulting in injuries to eleven soldiers on both sides. A few days later another incident occurred in Sikkim but it was downplayed and amicably resolved but ever since the standoff has been escalating ever since and troops have been deployed.
Prime Minister Imran Khan has termed the Indian government a threat to regional peace, adding that the supremacist Modi government is also a threat to India’s neighbours. Apart from ceasefire violations and targeting civilian populations along the Line of Control, India also has border disputes with China and Nepal, along with the adverse impact of the controversial Citizenship Act on Bangladesh.
India and China fought a war in 1962 and border disputes have lingered on. India’s action in the border region shows its expansionist desires and overreach. India attempted to unilaterally alter the demography of Kashmir and split Ladakh separately from Jammu and Kashmir. The dispute runs much deeper as Ladakh is the only land route to connect China’s Xinjiang province with the rest of the country. China is seeking to develop its eastern side through heavy investments in CPEC and increasingly closer ties with Pakistan which has often irked India.
There is little information shared by both countries but it is speculated that standoff has been triggered by the infrastructure activities carried out by India, including new roads and airbases, in the region and along the un-demarcated border. The standoff may escalate as both sides have deployed troops, pitched tents and moved equipment. There are thousands of Chinese troops already on Indian territory and the only things remaining is all-out combat.
China and India need to maintain peace as they are facing domestic challenges such as the coronavirus pandemic. India might seek to divert attention from the worsening human rights situation but it cannot afford another confrontation at the moment, while China has a lot of issues to deal with. India cannot resolve the matter in the UN as the Chinese will surely veto any resolution. India needs to roll back its expansionist policies as it could ignite a war in the region.