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India-China Border Tensions and U.S. Strategy in the Indo-Pacific

India and China’s border disputes have intensified in recent years, with China escalating tensions through infrastructure development, military deployments, and periodic encroachment into Indian-controlled territory. The first deadly clash between the two countries in 45 years occurred in June 2020, resulting in 20 Indian and at least four Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) troop deaths. The most recent skirmish took place on December 9, 2022, near Tawang in northeastern India, when an estimated 300 Chinese soldiers attempted to cross the border. The RAND Corporation, a nonprofit research institution, suggests that these incidents could lead to all-out conflict between the two Asian giants. Although its research does not reflect the opinions of its clients and sponsors, RAND’s reports are frequently published in peer-reviewed scholarly journals, commercial books’ chapters, or documents by other organizations.

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