The militaries of the United States of America and Republic of India will hold joint exercises in the Himalayan mountains in October, less than 100km from India’s disputed border with China, CNN reported.
The joint military exercise will hold in mid-October at an altitude of 10,000 feet in Auli in the Indian state of Uttarakhand and will focus on high-altitude warfare training.
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The location was announced amid heightened tensions between the US and China over Taiwan, while India and China have been clashing along their mountain border.
Auli is about 95 kilometers from the Line of Actual Control (LAC), an inhospitable piece of land where the disputed border between India and China is roughly demarcated. While both sides claim territory on the other side of this line, it has served as the de-facto border between the two countries since the end of the 1962 Sino-Indian War.
Fighting broke out along this line in 2020 after China objected to India’s construction of a road in its claimed territory. India said that it lost around 20 troops, while China claimed to have lost four.
Tensions have remained high along the line ever since, with India accusing China in May of building a bridge in territory it considers under “illegal occupation.”
Relations between the US and China have also deteriorated significantly in the wake of a visit by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to Taiwan this week. Beijing responded to the visit by launching large-scale military drills, cutting imports from Taiwan, sanctioning Pelosi and her family, and severing diplomatic ties with Washington in a number of key areas.
The drills will take place as part of the 18th edition of an annual joint exercise known as “Yudh Abhyas” — or “War Practice”.
Nnamdi Maduakor is a Writer, Investor and Entrepreneur