Since Xi Jinping came into power in China, Asia and South China Sea have witnessed tension with Beijing shooting down every effort to resolve a dispute peacefully

The Union Territory of Ladakh, which witnessed a deadly clash between Indian and Chinese soldiers in its eastern flank, resulting in the death of 20 Indian troops and undisclosed number of Chinese soldiers on June 15, has not been untouched by geo-political fighting between India and China.

Aksai Chin, which used to be the easternmost part of Ladakh was captured by China in the 1950s and consolidated its grip over it after the 1962 War.

“In 1950, China invaded Tibet and soon built a road linking it to Xinjiang, slicing through Aksai Chin. The area was so desolate that it wasn’t until several years later that India even found out about the road. This triggered a brief war in 1962 that ended in a disastrous loss for India, and China seized all of Aksai Chin, more than 14,000 square miles,” The New York Times said in its report.

By the mid-1970s, things had cooled down, at least on the China front. A protocol evolved between Indian and Chinese troops, including a ban on firearms during border standoffs and regular meetings to iron out disputes.

Indian soldiers who served along the China border in the 1980s and 1990s remember friendly interactions with the Chinese troops.

“We used to shake hands and they would take photos with us and we would take photos with them,” Sonam Murup, a retired Indian soldier was quoted as saying.

However, this bonhomie with Chinese soldiers didn’t last long. Chinese soldiers blocked Ladakhi herders’ access to areas like Demchok and Pangong Tso—all parts of Indian territory.

To make Chinese realize that they intruded into Indian territories, soldiers of Indian army preferred to unfurl banners that read “This is Indian Territory” in English and Chinese to make Chinese soldiers move out of the Indian territory. But Chinese soldiers often refused to listen.

In the June fighting, which left 20 Indians and an unknown number of Chinese dead, Indian commanders say that Chinese troops used iron clubs bristling with spikes.

As per The New York Times report, China’s action in Ladakh mirrors Beijing’s assertive approach in Asia and South China Sea— all this began after Xi Jinping took over reins of power in China in 2012.

Read this article in detail in The New York Times