February 15, 2023

Trouble at the Roof of the World

In recent years, the disputed border between China and India has become the site of growing tensions. Chinese encroachment has sparked clashes along the mostly rugged, mountainous border, known as the Line of Actual Control (LAC), which threaten to lead to all-out conflict between the two Asian giants.

U.S. officials should take this possible flash point more seriously, mentioning it in every strategic document and speech relating to the Indo-Pacific.

These mounting tensions affect the United States and its Indo-Pacific strategy. Military hostilities between the two large, nuclear-armed countries risk escalating into a conflagration that could involve a third nuclear power: Pakistan. Such a widening conflict would be catastrophic for the region, though it now remains a remote prospect. More likely, border tensions will continue to simmer as China and India strengthen their military capabilities and build up infrastructure along the border. Washington should assist New Delhi in deterring further Chinese attempts to nibble away at Indian territory and be ready to respond quickly in case events spiral out of control.

Read the full article from Foreign Affairs.

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