ZANE KRPAN WRITES — On the 16th of June, 2020, Chinese and Indian soldiers engaged in a conflict over their disputed border for the first time since 1975. India reported twenty of its soldiers dead, but China did not release any information about casualties.
The tension between China’s western border and India to the north-east has existed since a war was fought between the two countries in 1962, when the two countries agreed not to use force. Although the June conflict involved only fists and clubs, it has led to heightened tensions between the two countries.
Now, a few months later, this small border conflict is having a larger impact on the world than one would have thought. The U.S. maintains an interest in India’s affairs, while India lives in the shadow of China, with its growing power, just as the U.S. is facing increased pressure from the policies of Chinese President Xi Jinping.
U.S. relations with India seem to be held together by nothing more than a common enemy. It will be said that these two nations have close ties due to their shared democratic values, but that is far from true. Today, the Western-Pacific and Indian Oceans hold thousands of American troops. One large resting place for these troops is the island Diego Garcia, a home of more than 1,000 American personnel as well as some from the United Kingdom. Although this base is extremely efficient at multi-national coverage, it is not extremely effective in deterring China. The ideal location for American troops would be on Indian soil, where their presence would exert pressure and fear upon the Western-Chinese border. Both countries have much to gain – or lose — from this tense situation, but will America offer anything other than militant power to India? Will the relationship between these two democratic countries lead to anything outside of their militaries, or will they solely focus on stopping the spread of China?