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  It has become several days since the mass standoff started between India and China at the LAC. There are different theories to give different perspectives about the starting of this conflict between India and China, but the actual reality is very different from all these perspectives. In actuality, the conflict at the Sino-Indian borders started 20 years ago from now. But at that time, the Chinese side didn’t show any aggression. That time the developmental work was not proactive since both sides were not having any concern about the strategic importance of the land there. However, in the year 2008 when China started emerging as a major power at the world platform, he also boosted his developmental activities nearby border areas and hence India also started making itself proactive nearby border areas. In the year 2013, China objected about developmental activity but at that time India, instead of giving a strong resistance against Chinese objection inside its own territory, stopped all its construction activity near by line of actual control. But when the reins of control in India changed then the infrastructural development again boosted nearby border areas. Now let’s have a look, why China is objecting on this developmental activity and what is the strategic importance of the area where the conflicts are ongoing.

india border with china and pok

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The strategic importance of place-

strategic importance of galwan valley

The main conflicts are ongoing in the Galway valley area, from where a very strategic road i.e. Durbuk-Shyok DBO road passes which connects the Durbuk & Shyok to one of the highest airstrips in the world i.e. Daulat beg Oldi. This airstrip is situated in a very strategically important place. Eight km Eastward from the airstrip is the line of actual control(LAC) and in the West direction, Gilgit Baltistan area of Pak occupied Kashmir(POK) is also very close. In the near future, India can seize both of its captured territories of Aksai Chin & POK. Hence this strategically very important road and more prominently the highest ever airstrip can prove as a Jack to achieve different trades. The area is also a passage which connects Aksai Chin & POK, therefore, China also wants free hand movement in the area by which it can promote anti-India activities having their epicentre in Pakistan, safeguarding its heavy investment in the region. However the airstrip was built around 1962 when India fought with China but due to political interference, the strategic importance of the region cannot be utilised properly. After 1962 the moment in the region was very inactive. Hence it was very important to boost developmental activities in the region so that any future threat can be countered. In order to become proactive in the region the Siachen glacier which is the world’s highest battlefield situated nearby this strategically important place was also opened for tourists.

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Threats to China-

China had a very old strategy to make its dominance in the region. The aggression which he is showing recently isn’t new in fact a pre-planned one. Whenever India boosted its developmental activities nearby borders, China came forward and showed his aggression in parallel and the reaction of the government of India decided whether the conflict between India and China will raise or not. The DS-DBO road is a 272kms long road and only 17kms construction work is left and hence China is showing a very strong resistance in the fear of losing the dominance which he felt due to lack of infra development of India. Following are some of the main threats which constrained China to undertake such activities.

  • The infra will provide India with a strategic advantage for artillery operations from the height.
  • The road will provide India with a smooth and fast reach to the Karakoram pass which shares boundaries with China’s Xinjiang province.
  • Impacts China’s connectivity with Pakistan. 
  • Gives advantage to India in the Gilgit Baltistan region where China has invested heavily.
  • China is frightened due to future operations which India can conduct to claim its own territory of Aksai Chin.

  Besides this, there are a number of reasons with constrained China to become aggressive in the region and raise the conflict.

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narendra modi on china

China from a very long time wanted to invest in India through the BRI project. The previous ruling government was also very much interested in China’s investment and was allowing China to have a free hand to invest in India. But when the reins of power changed the inclination of Delhi towards Beijing fell drastically. The government in power understood that China is just luring its neighbour to get a stronghold. Now whenever China objects to the infrastructural development nearby border areas then India boost its development further to showcase its mettle. This changed attitude of India is making China tensed about dominance in the South Asian region and results in the conflict between India and China. Moreover, the ever-increasing influence of Delhi among major Global powers is also straining China regarding its designation of global supplier and manufacturer by deteriorating its strong economic status.

CHECKMATE (Nation at War Series: India-China Standoff in 2020)

Read the following books to know about the India China war-

China’s India War: Collision Course on the Roof of the World

1962: The War That Wasn’t

WATERSHED 1967 : India’s Forgotten Victory Over China

JFK’s Forgotten Crisis: Tibet, the CIA, and the Sino-Indian War

Read more about the clash on ExpensiveMinds

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