India, China Mass Troops, as China Says Recent Fight Was All India’s Fault

Satellite shows China building new structures overlooking border

The border region between China and India may not look like much, but after a recent clash in the Galwan Valley between their respective militaries, India has confirmed that they followed suit with China and are also massing troops into the border region.

On June 15, the two sides got into a brawl along the border, fighting with clubs and bats, leaving scores killed even though no shots were fired. That the two nuclear powers fought with makeshift arms raises concerns of what would happen if the nations escalate into an outright war.

Both sides are offering conflicting stories of what actually happened, with China insisting that it was all India’s fault, that Indian troops crossed the poorly marked border. India said no forces are ultimately on the wrong side, and that China didn’t occupy any Indian towns.

The hilly line of control is a tense location, though for both sides control seems broadly to be about national pride as opposed to the value of the hills themselves. Underscoring that this might be a long-term flashpoint, satellite images show China has built structures near the border, seemingly allowing them to overlook the area in case of another confrontation.

Whatever the buildings are actually for, it underscores that neither side has really made a serious effort to deescalate the situation. Neither China nor India are speaking on their plans for the situation, but either way, they’re putting more forces in the area, not fewer.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.