India is gradually building up its military contingent on the border with China. The place of escalation is still the province of Ladakh, where disputes have been going on since the second half of the previous century. The Ladakh region has always been characterized by heightened military activity, with constant clashes between Chinese and Indian border guards in 2020-2021.
Recent negotiations to disarm the border led nowhere. India became increasingly concerned about Chinese fighter jets flying over the region. It was the reason why the Indians decided to strengthen their defenses blaming the Chinese government for ignoring requests from New Delhi to stop flying within 10 km from the border.
The last round of talks about the disengagement of troops in the border area was held on July 18. Diplomats from both countries were present at the meeting, as well as army corps commanders. The negotiations were very protracted, with both sides unable to reach a compromise. The Indians insisted that the Chinese close their military camps in two places (precisely in the so-called “bottleneck” because the mountainous terrain is shaped like a bottleneck) and stop making regular sorties in the disputed areas and that the Indians return the right to patrol the border. Negotiations were unsuccessful, the maximum diplomats achieved was an extension of last year’s conditions.
After unsuccessful negotiations, India openly announced military buildup on the territory next to China. The declared reason for these measures was the “violation of mutual confidence-building measures in the Ladakh region”.
By the end of July, India deployed several Rafales to the border region. India has reportedly transfered Russian-made S-400 anti-aircraft system to the border with China.
Casualties on the India-China border are not uncommon. Every six months one can steadily follow the news of skirmishes on the India-China border. This does not contribute to the security in the region. However, any significant military provocations from one or the other side are not expected. The border has always been a stumbling block between China and India. Administered by India as a union territory, the Ladakh region has been the subject of dispute between India, Pakistan, and China since 1947. India is now bluffing and trying to show China that its interests should be taken into account. China is not expected to react; if it does, it will be very slow and will most likely manifest itself in the deployment of a retaliatory contingent or the reduction of the benefits for India in bilateral cooperation.
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