Daily Memo: India and China Pull Back From the Brink

But a Chinese-Indian truce doesn’t mean the clashes can’t lead to indirect escalation elsewhere.

Cooler heads in the Himalayas. India and China on Tuesday agreed on a set of “modalities for disengagement from all friction areas in eastern Ladakh” in the Himalayas, per a Chinese Foreign Ministry statement and unnamed Indian government sources. Few details of the pullback have been released. As we’ve discussed, the unforgiving geography of the Himalayas strictly limits on the ability of either side to escalate matters along the Line of Actual Control itself – making it relatively easy for cooler heads to prevail. But that doesn’t mean the clashes can’t lead to indirect escalation elsewhere. India, for example, is pushing through a bevy of new restrictions on doing business with Chinese firms amid widespread public calls for a boycott targeting Chinese goods. New Delhi is reportedly reconsidering its reluctance to ban Chinese telecom giants Huawei and ZTE from its 5G buildout. On the military front, India has reportedly asked Russia – for years, India’s foremost arms supplier – to expedite deliveries of new fighter jets and S-400 missile defense systems. Either way, Chinese pressure in the Himalayas isn’t about to go away. On a related note, Nepal’s government is reportedly concerned that China’s rerouting of rivers in Tibet will […]

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