US intelligence agencies told lawmakers that relations between India and China would “remain tense” in the wake of a “fatal clash” in 2020, as they also expressed concerns about any potential crisis between India and Pakistan.
In its annual threat assessment presented to the Senate Armed Services Committee during a congressional hearing on Tuesday, US intelligence services said the expanded military posture of India and China along the disputed border increases the risk of armed confrontation between the two nuclear powers that could involve direct threats. For American people and interests, and calls for American intervention.
“Relations between New Delhi and Beijing will remain tense in the wake of the deadly clash in 2020, the most serious in decades,” she added.
The report said previous encounters have shown that persistent low-level friction on the Line of Actual Control (LAC) has the potential to escalate quickly.
India has consistently maintained that peace and tranquility throughout the Latin American and Caribbean region have been essential factors in the overall development of bilateral relations.
The East Ladakh border confrontation erupted between the Indian and Chinese armies on May 5, 2020, following a violent clash in the Pangong Lake areas.
Both sides gradually strengthened their deployment by escalating tens of thousands of soldiers as well as heavy weapons.
India and China have held 15 rounds of military talks so far to resolve the dispute in East Ladakh. As a result of the talks, the two sides completed the disengagement process last year on the northern and southern banks of Pangong Lake and in the Gojra region.
Each side currently has about 50,000 to 60,000 troops along the LAC in the sensitive sector.
The assessment also noted that the crises between India and Pakistan are of particular concern because of the risk of an escalatory cycle between the two nuclear-armed states – albeit low.
“Pakistan has a long history of supporting anti-India armed groups; under Prime Minister Narendra Modi, India is likely to respond with military force to perceived or real Pakistani provocations, and each side’s perception of heightened tensions raises risks of conflict where violent unrest in Kashmir or attack Extremist in India potential flashpoints.
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