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Troubled borders

16 3 7

The decades-long ‘cold peace’ between India and China is actually under severe strain. For the last two months, hundreds of Indian and Chinese soldiers have been squaring off over a ‘tri-juncture’, which tenuously separates India, Bhutan and China thousands of kilometres above sea level.

There have reportedly been clashes between the two sides, with Chinese and Indian soldiers throwing stones at each other, but so far stopping just short of firing their guns. But tensions are rising every day, with diplomatic patience wearing thin. The two Asian giants, collectively home to a third of humanity, are once again on the verge of direct military conflict with frightening implications for the region and beyond.

The so-called Line of Actual Control (LAC), which separates India from China, is a potentially explosive oxymoron. It is neither a clear line nor is anyone fully in control.

The murky territorial boundaries are the poisonous legacy of 19th-century colonialism, when the British Raj and Qing Dynasty sought to negotiate their overlapping imperial boundaries under fluid geopolitical circumstances.


© The News International