India and the United States troops on Wednesday (30/11) held joint exercises near the disputed zone with China which is commonly called the Line of Actual Control (LAC). Interestingly, this exercise took place amid increasing tensions between India and Beijing.
The Indian Ministry of Defense, as quoted by voaindonesia (30/11) said, the exercise which lasted for 15 days focused on reconnaissance and warfare skills in the mountains. This includes evacuation of victims and medical assistance during wartime in bad terrain and climatic conditions. In addition, there were also humanitarian assistance, disaster management, and operations related to peacekeeping.
The Chinese government is very concerned about this joint military exercise between India and the United States. According to Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson, Zhao Lijian, as quoted from rmol.id (01/12/2022), the military exercise called Yudh Abhyas was considered to have violated the bilateral agreement that India had signed with China in 1993 and 1996. Zhao added that what India was doing with the United States would only complicate its bilateral rapprochement with China.
The negotiations on the border dispute between the two countries, which began in 2021, did not go smoothly and have not produced results. China and India blamed each other for the failure of the talks.
China says India is making unrealistic demands. Meanwhile, India has accused China of launching aggressive attacks on its territory since clashes that claimed lives in 2020.
Even though things didn't go well, on July 20, 2022, China and India agreed to handle border conflicts in a spirit of togetherness and equal partnership.
It is feared that joint Indian-US troop exercises could undermine this spirit in resolving territorial disputes between China and India.
Both China and India should comply with what was agreed on July 20, 2022. Both sides need to continue to maintain effective communication and prioritize dialogue in handling problems. They should refrain from carrying out any actions or activities in the disputed area that have the potential to provoke one of the parties.