Emotions Along Sino-indian Border Remain Strained
Two weeks ago, Indian military officials announced it was holding talks with its counterparts in China after it was discovered that a platoon of Chinese soldiers had crossed a de facto and unmarked Himalayan border between the nations.
The crossing has raised concerns among those who see it as reminiscent of the events which led to war in 1962 and reflective of the extremely tenuous nature of the “peace” which has existed since 1996.
[For more background on the border war, a November 2012 article in The Diplomat provides some good context.]
Incursion Seen By Indians As Affront To Their “Dignity”
In the Indian Defence Review, Col. R. Hariharan says despite friendlier relations in the last few yearss and the absence of any desire among Indians to go to war, the latest incursion demands a response.
“[T]he Chinese have chosen to embarrass the Indian government by creating a minor crisis for their own reasons. For the average Indian it is difficult to take it in the stride, like politicians do. Despite this unseemly action, except for hawks, most of the people in India do not want a war with China, but all of them want India to be treated as a nation with dignity. This is a minimum China cannot ignore in its Machiavellian calculations regarding India,” he writes.
China May Have Violated 1996 Agreement
Of greater import, however, is that China’s border wanderings may be construed as violations of the confidence building measures (CBM) included within the agreement India and China signed on November 29, 1996. According to Hariharan, “the present Chinese standoff goes in the face of Article I and II of the CBM.”
Analysts At A Loss To Explain Current Situation
Jake Maxwell Watts admits honesty that “this latest development has baffled experts.” Was it planned? Or did the troops simply get lost? Watts offers an overview of the various motives which would explain Beijing’s actions.
The New York Times reports that alarm in the Indian capital is growing, as was reflected in the statement on Thursday by Syed Akbaruddin, the spokesman for India’s Ministry of External Affairs, that there “is no doubt that in the entire country this is a matter of concern.”
However, he sought to temper tensions saying it was a “limited, localized incidence in geography and scope.”
In response, Mr. Akbarudin’s Chinese counterpart, Hua Chunying said, “China and India are wise and capable enough to handle the existing differences … while boosting friendly cooperation.”
US Effectively Rules Out Ground Forces, Israel Strikes Anti-Missile Sites
At a press conference in Mexico on Thursday, President Obama said, “And, as we’ve seen evidence of further bloodshed, potential use of chemical weapons inside of Syria, what I’ve said is, is that we’re going to look at all options.”
The “all options” option was amended a day later when Obama acknowledged that he does “not foresee a scenario in which boots on the ground in Syria — American boots on the ground in Syria — would not only be good for America but also would be good for Syria.”