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Tensions Simmer on Chinese-Indian Border

Tensions between the People's Republic of China and India have slowly but surely simmered over the past week. On May 5 and 6, small skirmishes broke out in Eastern Ladakh, Kashmir between Chinese and Indian troops. Yesterday, on May 11, four Indians and seven Chinese soldier were injured after aggressive confrontations on the border crossing between the Indian border state of Sikkim and Tibet. Today, on May 12, the Indian Air Force was forced to scramble fighter jets to Ladakh after Chinese military helicopters drifted to close to the border for comfort.

Clashes between India and China are relatively rare over their 2,520 mile long border, and those that do occur are usually local. The main concern today is that these events are not localized, and took place in completely different areas. This seems to suggest that tension has reached the highest levels of government in both Beijing and New Delhi. Any further aggression of the part of either side could spark a larger military and diplomatic standoff, hurting both nations as they seek to recover from COVID-19.

Disputes over territorial borders have long served as a point of contention between India and the PRC. In the 1960s, these two states participated in a bloody border war that only seemed to amplify, instead of solve, existing claims. This came to a head in 2017, when a standoff resulted in increased military deployments to the area.


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