Despite More Border Clashes, China and India Will Guard the ‘Status Quo’

Despite More Border Clashes, China and India Will Guard the ‘Status Quo’
People hold placards with portraits of Chinese leader Xi Jinping and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, as they wait to welcome Xi outside the airport in Chennai, India, Oct. 11, 2019 (AP photo by R. Parthibhan).

Editor’s Note: Every Wednesday, WPR Newsletter and Engagement Editor Benjamin Wilhelm curates the week’s top news and expert analysis on China.

Reports that hundreds of Chinese and Indian soldiers recently clashed along the countries’ disputed border are a troubling development for Beijing and New Delhi, which have tried to project stability in their rocky relationship.

Scores of troops were reportedly involved in a scuffle last weekend at the remote but strategic Naku La pass in the northeastern Indian state of Sikkim, an area that adjoins the Line of Actual Control, the de facto border that separates Chinese and Indian-controlled territories. What began as a heated exchange of words soon escalated into fistfights and stone-throwing. Although it quickly de-escalated after local Indian and Chinese military leaders intervened, both sides suffered minor injuries.

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