On Tuesday, India sent a “strong protest” to China over a map that Beijing said included terrain near the 2020 border, which New Delhi claims belongs to them.
Arindam Bagchi, a spokesperson for the foreign ministry, said in a statement that “we have today raised a strong objection through diplomatic channels with the Chinese side on the so-called 2023 “standard map” of China that makes claims to Indian territory.
Such actions by the Chinese side simply make resolving the border dispute more difficult.
We reject these accusations because they are without foundation. The 3,500-kilometer (2,200-mile) common border between India and its northern neighbor has long been a source of stress as a result of that neighbor’s growing military assertiveness.
Two locations on a map published by Beijing’s state-owned Global Times, according to New Delhi, are part of India.
One was Arunachal Pradesh in northeastern India, which China views as a part of Tibet and where the Asian superpowers engaged in a full-scale border conflict in 1962.
The second was Aksai Chin, a crucial high-altitude route that connected Tibet with western China. Fighting in the Galwan River Valley, which borders Aksai Chin, claimed the lives of 20 Indian soldiers and at least four Chinese soldiers in 2020. Since then, tens of thousands of soldiers have gathered on either side of the LAC, the line dividing the two sides.
They continue despite 19 sessions of negotiations between senior military officials from the two nations. Days after their rare face-to-face meeting in South Africa, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping protested.
The encounter last week was described as a “candid and in-depth exchange of views” by Beijing, but India claimed Modi made clear the need for “observing and respecting” the LAC.
In order to increase civilian presence and create new paramilitary battalions, Modi’s administration has invested billions of dollars in connectivity projects on its side of the border.
Additionally, it is attempting to forge stronger connections with Western nations, such as fellow Quad members the United States, Japan, and Australia, who are all courting India as a potential replacement for China.