U.S. to hold military drills in India near border disputed by China

Breitbart News reports that the U.S. military will participate in an annual joint military exercise with the Indian Armed Forces near India’s disputed Himalayan border with China. 

The U.S. Army Pacific has confirmed that the military exercise will take place from Oct. 18 to 31. The annual joint exercise is known as Yudh Abhyas, which means “war practice.”

It will specifically take place in India’s Uttarakhand state. This location is ideal for exercises that focus on cold-weather and high-altitude operations since its altitude is roughly 10,000 feet.

But, there is something more significant about the location, namely, that it is roughly 60 miles away from the India-China border that China disputes.

The disputed border

At issue here is the unmarked Himalayan boundary between China and India. It is known as the Line of Actual Control (LAC).

This particular border dispute between the two countries goes back to at least June of 2020. On the night of June 15, 2020, members of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) ambushed an Indian Army border regiment in India’s Ladakh state.

This led to hours of hand-to-hand combat between Indian and Chinese forces in Galwan Valley. When all was said and done, 28 Chinese and 20 Indian soldiers were killed in the fighting.

The aftermath

The altercation did not end the border dispute. Rather, the dispute continues to this day.

Recent reports indicate that India’s military is planning to install more surface-to-air missile systems along the India-China border. This plan is expected to be completed by October, before the planned military exercise with the U.S.

China, for its part, has also increased its military presence along the India-China border in recent months. It’s clear that neither side is backing down.

What to expect?

It is not exactly clear how China is going to react to the U.S.’s participation in this military exercise with India. Although the exercise will take place near the disputed border, it is not as close to the disputed border as it could have been.

Still, it is likely that China will not be happy about the situation, and it would not be surprising to hear some threatening rhetoric from the communist country as the military exercise approaches.

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