The recent skirmish in the Ladakh region on June 15 that saw multiple casualties on both sides is the most severe clash between the two nuclear powers since the Second Sino-Indian War in 1967. India has claimed that it lost 20 men, including one officer. The Chinese side has not offered any reports of casualties.
However, India has estimated that there were 43 fatalities on the Chinese side.
Recent satellite imagery shows the Chinese rebuilding the fortifications that were demolished by India, and also deploying many more troops along the Line of Actual Control and expanding helipads and airstrips.
Beijing appears to be adamant that they are not going to step back from the military build-up on the border that both sides agreed to in bilateral talks.
India is sending forces back up to the high altitude region in an attempt to counter China’s reconsolidation of its position.
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Many see the current conflict as a manifestation of the competition between India and China for dominance in the region.
China is much more powerful economically and militarily, but they are now concerned about India’s rise and perceive New Delhi as a threat to their hegemony.
The confrontation in Ladakh reflected Beijing’s desire to reinforce New Delhi’s subordinate status.
Ashley Tellis, an expert on Asian strategic competition at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace in Washington, DC said: “They think India is uppity, they think India is punching above its weight and they want to bring it down a notch or two.
The analyst added: “They decided that they are going to punch India in the nose.”
Recently the USA has invited to India to participate in the upcoming G7 talks.
This has drawn the wrath of Bejing.
Liu Zongyi, a South Asia expert at the Shanghai Institute for International Studies, told the Global Times, a nationalistic Chinese tabloid: “India has been active in many of US plans that target China.
“If India hastily joins a small circle that perceives China as an imaginary enemy, China-India relations will deteriorate.”