According to a new and confidential security assessment by Indian police in the Himalayan region of Ladakh, there is a potential for increased clashes between Indian and Chinese troops along their contested border as China ramps up its military infrastructure in the region.
The assessment, which is part of a research paper submitted by the Ladakh Police at a recent conference of top police officers, was reviewed by India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
The report states that tensions had previously eased after military and diplomatic talks in 2020, following a clash in Ladakh that resulted in the deaths of at least 24 soldiers. However, a fresh clash erupted between the two sides in the eastern Himalayas in December, but there were no deaths reported.
The assessment is based on intelligence gathered by local police in the border areas and on the pattern of India-China military tensions over the years. It notes that the intensity of skirmishes and tensions has increased since 2013-2014, with an interval of every 2-3 years.
The report also states that “with the massive infrastructure build-up by the PLA on the Chinese side, both armies are testing each other’s reaction, strength of artillery and infantry mobilization time.”
China’s foreign ministry stated that the situation along the border is currently stable and that they are maintaining close communication and dialogue through diplomatic and military channels with India.
However, they also emphasized that “Aksai Chin is an inseparable part of China’s territory” referring to a disputed region that lies at the intersection of China’s Xinjiang and Tibet and to the east of Ladakh in India.
India and China share a 3,500 km (2,100 miles) border that has been disputed since the 1950s. The two sides went to war over it in 1962.