• The McLaughlin Group

The rising risk of conflict between China and India

Contributor: Tom Rogan

Tensions between China and India continue to boil over along the two nations' contested "line of control" border. Conflict between the nuclear powers is an increasing possibility.

Given the enveloping concerns over national pride, territorial interest, and leadership credibility, the ingredients for escalation are abundant. The conflict threatened to boil over back in June, when more than a dozen Indian soldiers were killed in a melee with their Chinese counterparts. Diplomats have sought to cool tensions since then, but they have not been successful.

Evincing as much, Beijing and New Delhi traded blame on Tuesday over an interaction by their respective forces in Jammu and Kashmir's eastern border region. India claims that Chinese People's Liberation Army forces attempted to intimidate an Indian patrol into retreating. When the Indian Army refused to move, Chinese forces apparently fired into the air. Conversely, China says the Indian patrol fired into the air with a "very vile nature." Both sides deny firing. But irrespective of responsibility, any exchange of gunfire would be the first time in 45 years.

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