Chinese officials have “warned” Washington not to “interfere” in the bilateral ties between New Delhi and Beijing, the ‘China Military Power Report (CMPR)’ presented by the Pentagon to the US Congress said.
The latest US report on China’s military strategy suggests that Beijing has been careful in handling the Ladakh border standoff, in a bid to prevent the crisis from “harming other areas of its bilateral relationship” with New Delhi.
The Ladakh border standoff was triggered after a series of clashes between the two armies at “multiple locations” along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in 2020.
Separately, the Pentagon report mentions the deadly clashes between Indian and Chinese troops in the Galwan Valley region in June 2021, the deadliest between the two countries in 46 years, which resulted in the death of four Chinese and 20 Indian soldiers.
Throughout 2021, the Chinese army has “sustained” the deployment of forces and infrastructure build-up along the entire LAC, the reports claims.
Notwithstanding the assertions made in the Pentagon report, some progress has been achieved in resolving the Ladakh standoff this year, as New Delhi and Beijing agreed to disengage their troops from the last remaining friction point of Gogra-Hot Springs during the military commander level talks in September.
A total de-escalation of the situation in the eastern Ladakh region has yet to be achieved; however, since over 50,000 troops from both militaries are still engaged in a standoff at the Daulat Beg Oldie sector, strategically located near the tri-junction of the present borders (disputed by New Delhi) of India, China and Pakistan.
China has consistently ranked among the two biggest trading partners of New Delhi, a trend that has persisted in spite of the Ladakh border standoff.
As per the Indian government, bilateral trade last year witnessed an annual increase of 43.31 percent to reach the $125 billion mark.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian noted at a press briefing last week that bilateral trade with India in the first nine months of 2021 stood at $103.6 billion.
Indian Foreign Minister S. Jaishankar has said that the deadly standoff has “profoundly” disturbed trust between New Delhi and Beijing and that the state of the border will “reflect” the state of overall bilateral ties, but Beijing has on several occasions urged India to place the border dispute at a proper level in the bilateral relationship.
Source: Agencies (edited by Al-Manar English Website)