A border clash between the world’s biggest nations. What could go wrong?
Amid the global coronavirus pandemic, assessing exactly what is happening in this dispute between the two most populated countries on Earth is difficult. Much of the border region is closed to the press, so reporters have to rely on statements and leaks.
Many accounts suggest that aggressive Chinese patrols in the area known as the Line of Actual Control (LAC) were to blame — or, in what may not necessarily be a contradiction, that Indian construction in the region had been interpreted as an aggressive challenge to Beijing’s Belt and Road infrastructure project.
Ultimately, India and China’s border problems are not new — it’s the circumstances surrounding them that have changed. Both Beijing and Delhi are led by governments in the thrall of nationalistic ambition. The pandemic has further pushed many nations into pro- or anti-China positions, camps that were already forming amid a global trade war that has lasted years.