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China Warned US Officials Not to Interfere in Its Relationship with India, Says Pentagon

China has warned US officials not to interfere in its relationship with India, the Pentagon has said in a report to Congress. It also said that Chinese officials tried to prevent the border tensions, between India-China at the Line of Actual Control (LAC), from causing New Delhi to partner more closely with the United States.

Throughout its standoff with India along the LAC, the Chinese officials sought to downplay the severity of the crisis, emphasising Beijing’s intent to preserve border stability and prevent the standoff from harming other areas of its bilateral relationship with India, the Pentagon said in a report titled ‘Military and Security Developments involving the People’s Republic of China’ on Tuesday.

“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 U.S. officials to not interfere with the PRC’s relationship with India,” the Pentagon said in its latest report to the Congress.

In a section on the China-India border, the Pentagon said throughout 2021, the PLA sustained the deployment of forces and continued infrastructure build-up along the LAC. Negotiation made minimal progress as both sides resist losing perceived advantages on the border, it said.

Beginning in May 2020, Chinese and Indian forces faced off in clashes with rocks, batons, and clubs wrapped in barbed wire at multiple locations along the LAC. The Pentagon called the Chinese deployment post-Galwan clash as “the most violent clash between the two countries in 45 years.”

The resulting standoff triggered the buildup of forces on both sides of the border. “Each country demanded the withdrawal of the other’s forces and a return to pre-standoff conditions, but neither China nor India agreed on those conditions,” it said.

“The PRC blamed the standoff on Indian infrastructure construction, which it perceived as encroaching on PRC territory, while India accused China of launching aggressive incursions into India’s territory,” it added.

Since the 2020 clash, the PLA has maintained continuous force presence and continued infrastructure build up along the LAC.

The 2020 Galwan Valley incident was the deadliest clash between the two nations in the past 46 years, the report said. On the June 15th, 2020, patrols violently clashed in Galwan Valley resulting in the death approximately twenty Indian soldiers and four PLA soldiers, according to PRC officials, it said.

Chinese Satellite Capabilities

China employs a robust space-based ISR capability designed to enhance its worldwide situational awareness.

The report said that as of the 2021- end, China’s ISR satellite fleet contained more than 260 systems—a quantity second only to the US, and nearly doubling China’s in-orbit systems since 2018.

These satellites also allow the PLA to monitor potential regional flashpoints, including the Korean Peninsula, Taiwan, Indian Ocean, and the South China Sea, the report said.

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