(CNN) — The United States will participate in a joint military exercise with India less than 100 kilometers (62 mi) from the South Asian country’s disputed border with China.
The military exercise will be conducted in mid-October at Auli in the Indian state of Uttarakhand at an altitude of 3,048 (10,000 ft), and will focus on high-altitude combat training, as a senior Indian Army officer has knowledge. Case.
Auli is about 95 km from the Line of Actual Control (LAC), an inaccessible area roughly delineating the disputed border between India and China.
The exercise will be conducted as part of the 18th annual joint exercise known as “Yudh Abhyas” or “Yudh Abhyas”.
Relations between India and China have been strained since a bloody clash between their troops in the Himalayas in June 2020, in which at least 20 Indian soldiers and four Chinese soldiers were killed.
China recently escalated tensions with the construction of a bridge over the Pangong Tso lake, a move condemned by the Indian government as an “illegal occupation”.
During his visit to India this year, US Army Pacific Commanding General Charles Flynn had described China’s military gathering near the disputed border as “dangerous”.
Asked about the joint exercise, a US Defense Department spokesperson told CNN that the partnership with India was “one of the most important elements of our shared vision of a free and peaceful Indo-Pacific region.” open.
“A significant element of this comprehensive effort includes training exercises and programs and Yudh Abhyas is an annual bilateral exercise designed to enhance interoperability and enhance our respective capabilities to address various regional security challenges,” the spokesperson said. designed.”
royal control line
The Line of Actual Control, the loosely defined de facto border between India and China, evolved from the Sino-Indian Border War of 1962, itself triggered by long-standing historical territorial disagreements.
Its exact location can be hazy, and there is still a dispute between China and India over where one country ends and the other begins.
Any military provocation between India and China can have dire consequences. Both have nuclear weapons.
Border tensions between the two countries escalated after at least 20 Indian soldiers fought with fists, stones and pointed bamboo sticks in June 2020 in a bloody battle in Galwan Valley near Aksai. Chin, a territory controlled by China but a country claimed by both.
Although tensions have eased, both sides maintain a large military presence in the border region, increasing the risk of possible miscalculations in the event of a sudden and unexpected conflict.