Daily Memo: Blame Games in the Himalayas and Eastern Mediterranean

India and China have both accused each other of crossing the Line of Actual Control in the Himalayas.

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Breaking norms in the Himalayas. On Monday night, the Chinese military accused Indian troops of crossing the so-called Line of Actual Control, the vaguely defined de facto border in parts of the Himalayas disputed between India and China. China also accused Indian troops of firing warning shots near the hotly contested Pangong Lake in eastern Ladakh. India on Tuesday made counteraccusations, saying it was Chinese troops who ventured across the Line of Actual Control and fired warning shots in an effort to intimidate their Indian counterparts. Tit-for-tat transgressions and low-level standoffs are nothing new in the theater, but if someone did indeed fire warning shots, it would mark the first shots fired in the area in more than two decades. The informal ban on the use of any firearms, much less heavy weaponry, has helped keep a lid on escalation in the Himalayas for years. If the ban is scrapped, deadly incidents will be more likely, making it more difficult politically for either side to back down – even if geographic constraints continue to make another large-scale conflict in the high Himalayas nearly impossible. This comes less than a week after the Indian and Chinese defense ministers met in Moscow […]

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