India-China To Remain Strained In View Of ‘Lethal Clash’, Says US Intelligence

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Highlights:

  • The community made the remarks in its annual threat assessment presented before the Senate Armed Services Committee
  • The expanded military posture by both India and China along the disputed border elevates the risk of armed confrontation
  • Both the countries reportedly strengthened their deployment by rushing in tens of thousands of soldiers along with heavy weaponry

The US intelligence community mentioned to the lawmakers that the ties between India and China will ‘remain strained’ in view of the ‘lethal clash’ in 2020. It also expressed concerns over any potential crisis between India and Pakistan. The community made the remarks in its annual threat assessment presented before the Senate Armed Services Committee during a Congressional hearing on Tuesday.

The US intelligence community mentioned that the expanded military posture by both India and China along the disputed border elevates the risk of armed confrontation between the two nuclear power that might involve direct threats to US persons and interests and summons for America’s intervention. “Relations between New Delhi and Beijing will remain strained in the wake of the lethal clash in 2020, the most serious in decades,” it added.

The report mentioned that the previous standoffs have demonstrated that persistent low-level friction on the Line of Actual Control (LAC) has the potential to accelerate swiftly. Notably, India has been consistently maintaining that peace and tranquility along the LAC were important for the overall development of the bilateral ties. The eastern Ladakh border standoff between the Indian and Chinese militaries broke out on May 5, 2020, after a violent clash in the Pangong lake areas.

Both the countries reportedly strengthened their deployment by rushing in tens of thousands of soldiers along with heavy weaponry. India and China have chaired 15 rounds of military talks as yet to settle the eastern Ladakh row. As a result of the discussions, both the sides completed the disengagement process last year on the north and south banks of the Pangong lake and in the Gogra area.

India and China currently have around 50,000 to 60,000 troops along the LAC in the sensitive sector. The assessment underlined that crisis between India and Pakistan is of particular concern because of the risk; however low escalatory cycle between the two nuclear-armed states.

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