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Chinese incursions to India aimed at gaining ‘permanent control’ of disputed borders: Study

The Chinese intrusions into the Aksai Chin region are not unrelated, accidental occurrences but rather a part of a planned ‘expansionist strategy ‘to take control of the ‘contentious border region permanently. A group of foreign researchers produced the study ‘Rising Tension in the Himalayas: a Geospatial Analysis of Chinese Border Incursions into India’.

The dispute between India and China may be divided into two different conflicts, west and east, with the main contested regions of Aksai Chin and Arunachal Pradesh at their centres. The group determined that an ‘incursion’ was any movement of Chinese forces across the boundary into territories recognised internationally as belonging to India, whether on foot or in vehicles.

The 3,488-km-long Line of Actual Control is the subject of the India-China border dispute. India contests China’s claim that Arunachal Pradesh is a part of southern Tibet. A sizable portion of Ladakh known as Aksai Chin is currently governed by China. Between 2016 and 2018, the Chinese Army violated Indian territory 1,025 times. The study was carried out by researchers at the Netherlands Defence Ministry of Defence (MoD) and the US-based Buffett Institute for Global Affairs in Evanston, US.

Researchers at Northwestern University have gathered information on Chinese invasions into India between 2006 and 2020. The researchers discovered that disputes may be divided into two different sectors: west/middle (Aksai Chin area) and east (Arunachal Pradesh region). ‘Chinese invasions over India’s west and central borders are not independent, random acts that happen by mistake,’ it stated.

It is crucial to China because Aksai Chin is a strategic region that they wish to develop. An important first step in the gradual resolution of the entire conflict could be the resolution of border disputes in particular regions. The study mentions the conflict in June 2020 in Galwan that claimed the lives of 20 Indian soldiers and an undetermined number of Chinese soldiers.

For more than 29 months, India and China have been embroiled in a boundary dispute in eastern Ladakh. Following the bloody conflict in Galwan Valley, the bilateral relationship under considerable pressure. India has consistently argued that maintaining peace and tranquilly along the LAC is necessary for the overall growth of bilateral relations.

India’s participation in the Quad, the security dialogue between the United States, India, Japan and Australia, may serve as a trigger for Chinese activity along the China–India border. ‘China’s foreign policy has become increasingly aggressive, stepping up its military exercises around Taiwan and extending its presence in the South China Sea,’ it said.

There are no indications that the situation between China and India will get better any time soon; both countries are constantly on high alert. The world economy, international security, and the preservation of the distinctive Himalayan ecology would all greatly benefit from a peaceful resolution to the conflict. China attacks when it feels most vulnerable, according to research by Subrahmanian and his colleagues into the most likely times for incursions to happen.

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