Recent border disputes between China and India began in April, escalating to a deadly clash on June 15. Indian authorities reported that 20 troops died in the hand-to-hand combat using clubs and rocks; the Chinese side has not released casualty information. In August, India accused China of provoking military tensions; China claimed that the stand-off was entirely India’s fault. The following month, China accused India of firing shots at its troops; India in turn accused China of firing shots in the air. If the allegations are true, it would be the first time that shots had been fired in 45 years. 

There have been 17 rounds of talks since June, including a meeting of the two countries’ defense and foreign ministers on the sidelines of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization summit in Moscow in September. What is behind the tensions along the 2,100-mile border some 21,000 feet above sea level in the rugged Himalayas? How likely is a resolution before the harsh winter arrives in a few weeks? What are the implications for China, India, and the United States?

On October 9, 2020, the National Committee held a virtual program with Ambassador Nirupana Rao, Dr. Arunabh Ghosh, and Dr. Shen Dingli.

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National Committee on U.S.-China Relations · Tensions in the Himalayas: The India-China Border Dispute

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