by Lakshya Agarwal

For the past few months, there have been high tensions along the India- China border. To understand what is happening now, we need to look at the 1962 war between the two nations.

In 1957, China built a road across the Aksai Chin area. 

Aksai Chin is the northeastern tip of India. For many decades, this region has been disputed. China claims that it is a part of its territory,on the other hand, India claims that it is a part of the now union territory Ladakh. One of the main reasons for the 1962 war to occur, was in 1957 when China built a road right through the disputed region. India expected China to ask their consent before building the road. This then sparked a full-on war. India was on the losing side and suffered over a thousand casualties. This led China to take control of the entire Aksai China area, and a little more. After the Chinese called a cease-fire, the line of actual control was established. It was a line till where both sides were allowed to exercise control. India never agreed to this and it led to multiple skirmishes with a few fatalities between the two sides over the years. In 1993 and 1996, two agreements were signed by India and China. The 1993 agreement stated that both sides needed to agree that the line of actual control existed and neither side could deploy a large number of troops and other military equipment. The 1996 agreement stated that the Lac (line of actual control) must not be crossed, and guns and explosives were not allowed along the line of actual control to maintain peace and reduce casualties. The exact location for the line of actual control is still unknown. 

Debates were stalled in 2002. Since then the relationship between the two countries has been frosty yet functional. The recent clash in June 16th 2020 was the first fatal encounter between both these nations since 1975.Since guns and explosives were not allowed, the soldiers used makeshift weapons like planks of wood with nails sticking out of them.The main reason for this clash was when the Chinese had set up a tent in the disputed area. Both countries laid claim on that piece of land and also blamed each other for the following clash. It is also thought that China constructed the tent as a retaliation against 2 things done by India. Last year, India repealed article 370 and turned Jammu Kashmir and Ladakh into a union territory. China did not approve of it. The second was a 158 mile road that India is constructing near the Lac. China interpreted these as territorial ambition by India. After the skirmish, both sides agreed to retreat. China is still constructing the disputed land in the Galwan valley. This is making peace harder to keep and a full-on war would be catastrophic to both sides. 

These 2 countries are both extremely crucial to each other’s economy and are also trading partners and heavily rely on each other for many essential goods. A war would lead to many of these products not being delivered.

Both these countries have huge military power. A conflict would lead to tragedy and sorrow on both sides.