The Indian government believes a deadly skirmish between its military and Chinese troops in an isolated and contested part of the Himalayas portends a broader campaign by Beijing to envelop the South Asian power with its military and economic influence, according to documents obtained by U.S. News.To get more China latest news, you can visit shine news official website.
The recent clash in the Galwan River Valley, where both sides had inserted military forces in support of their own territorial claims, represents a nefarious and protracted effort by Beijing, according to a collection of analysis papers that Indian officials say represent their government's assessment of China's behavior.
The Indian government links the latest encounter in a region it calls Ladakh to what it describes as Beijing's sweeping imperialist designs. Its expansionism "eschews direct military action but resorts to coercive diplomacy by penetrating and undermining sovereignty and economies of many countries," according to one of the documents, which has not been previously published.
Their conclusion is supported by some analysts. And it comes amid U.S. fears that Beijing has successfully exploited the international fallout from the coronavirus pandemic to secure territorial claims along other portions of its border, including in the South China Sea and Hong Kong. The moves have prompted retaliatory measures from the Trump administration that have escalated this week.
At least 20 Indian soldiers perished in the June 15 clash, and American intelligence believes 35 Chinese troops also died. The encounter was marked by vicious hand-to-hand combat in the inhospitable region straddling northern India and southwest China. The circumstances leading to the clash remain not entirely clear, though each country faults the other for building infrastructure, such as encampments or roads, in the strategically consequential mountain region where the borders of India, China and Pakistan meet.
The incident bore some similarities to prior skirmishes between the two countries, including in 2010 and 2014, as well as a brawl between Indian and Chinese forces in a separate part of the contested border in 2017, footage of which the Hong Kong Free Press published that year. Those incidents, though violent at times, ended relatively peacefully and swiftly.
With the latest offensive, India believes Beijing seeks to grab greater control of the mountain regions along China's southwest border – contested territory loosely demarcated by a tentative agreement known as the Line of Actual Control – in an attempt to gain greater accessibility to its partner Pakistan, India's chief rival. A $60 billion deal between the two countries, known as the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor – part of China's broader "Belt and Road" infrastructure initiative – would grant Beijing direct access over land to the sea through at least two routes in Pakistan. Beyond expanding China's commercial shipping network, the new routes would also allow Beijing to bypass the Straits of Malacca – a choke point between Malaysia and Indonesia that the U.S. Navy closely patrols with its regional allies and partners.
To create reliable access to those projects in Pakistan, the government in New Delhi believes China must first try to oust Indian troops occupying positions in the contested region and link the Chinese-controlled Aksai Chin area – near the site of the June border skirmish – with the contested Shaksgam Valley region more than 100 miles away toward Pakistan.