HomeIndian DefenceChina warns that increasing Indian troops at border won't ease tensions

China warns that increasing Indian troops at border won’t ease tensions

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More Indian troops at the border won’t ease tensions, China foreign ministry has said.

India’s move to add more troops at its disputed border with China is “not conducive to easing tensions”, Reuters quoted a spokesperson for the Chinese foreign ministry as saying on Friday at a news briefing.

India has redirected thousands of soldiers to enhance its contested border with China, introducing a potential source of tension to its already strained relations with Beijing.

Senior Indian officials, requesting anonymity due to the confidentiality of the discussions, revealed that a unit of 10,000 soldiers previously deployed to the western border is now assigned to safeguard a segment of the frontier with China, a Bloomberg report said.

An existing group of 9,000 soldiers, initially designated for the disputed Chinese border, will now fall under the newly established fighting command. This unified force will protect a 532 km (330.57 miles) border section dividing China’s Tibet region from India’s northern states of Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh.

Souring Ties
Beginning on May 5, 2020, Chinese and Indian troops were involved in aggressive confrontations, face-offs, and skirmishes at various locations along the Sino-Indian border. These incidents occurred near the disputed Pangong Lake in Ladakh, the Tibet Autonomous Region, and the border between Sikkim and the Tibet Autonomous Region. Additional clashes took place in eastern Ladakh along the Line of Actual Control (LAC).

In late May, tensions escalated when Chinese forces raised objections to Indian road construction in the Galwan River valley. On September 7, 2020, shots were fired along the LAC for the first time in 45 years, with both parties attributing blame to the other. Indian media also reported that Indian troops had fired warning shots at the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) on August 30, 2020.

Ties between India and China deteriorated following confrontation, and there has been limited improvement since. Despite engaging in as many as 21 rounds of military-diplomatic talks, progress has been incremental. In response to the strained relations, India has enacted laws aimed at discouraging Chinese investments and business enterprises within the country.

In 2021, India deployed an extra 50,000 soldiers to monitor its border with China, responding to heightened tensions following a deadly clash the previous year that resulted in the unfortunate loss of at least 20 Indian soldiers, significantly straining diplomatic relations.

Subsequently, both China and India have taken steps to enhance military-related infrastructure, relocating missiles and aircraft to their respective border regions, alongside the additional deployment of troops.

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