Since May 5, India and China have been witnessing tense border skirmishes and standoffs in Sikkim and Eastern Ladakh along the un-demarcated and disputed Line of Actual Control (LAC). Initially bringing back memories of the Doklam standoffin June 2017, the recent clashes resulting in the deaths of 20 Indian soldiers have seemed to hearken back to the more serious clashes, such as those at Nathu La in 1967 and even the 1962 border war.
As the tensions continue, analysts and commentators have provided numerous unconfirmed reasons for the renewed standoff and what has been seen by some as surprising Chinese aggression. This analysis has seen a growing focus on domestic factors, such as a potential weakening of President Xi’s position in the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) after COVID-19 or precipitating actions in India’s foreign policy as possible causes for the standoff. However, this article argues that the primary reason for China’s aggression is security and strategic concerns related to India’s road and infrastructure construction along the LAC rather than domestic factors.
Read the full article in South Asian Voices.