China doesn’t want deeper US-India relations, taking 'actions’ to press territorial claims with neighbour: US
In a report on China, Pentagon has said that Chinese officials have warned US officials not to interfere with Beijing’s relationship with India, adding that China has been taking “incremental and tactical actions” to press its claims at the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in the eastern Ladakh sector with India.
“The PRC (People’s Republic of China) seeks to prevent border tensions from causing India to partner more closely with the United States. PRC officials have warned US officials to not interfere with the PRC's relationship with India,” the Department of Defense told the US Congress on Wednesday.
It said that the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) has approximately 975,000 active duty personnel in combat units and that it has “accelerated its training and fielding of equipment from the already fast pace of recent years”.
“In 2020, acute tensions and clashes along the border with India resulted in significant PLA force build-up and establishment or enforcement of forward positions along the Line of Actual Control. These tensions likely provided the PLA with valuable real-world operational and tactical experience,” it noted.
It said that during the height of the border standoff between the PRC and India in 2020, the PLA installed a fibre optic network in remote areas of the western Himalayas to provide faster communications and increased protection from foreign interception.
It noted that the PLA’s “Western Theater Command is oriented toward India and counterterrorism missions along China’s Central Asia borders.”
It also noted that diplomatic efforts are making slow progress as both sides resist losing perceived advantages on the border.
The Pentagon regularly reports to the Congress on the India-Chinese military standoff in eastern Ladakh.
The Pentagon has repeatedly referred to China as the "pacing challenge" for the US.