New frontier push could see China-India face off on disputed islands

India and China are reported to be pushing a new boundary law ahead of significant military exercises expected to take place near the disputed islands in the area. New Delhi issued an indelible code…

New frontier push could see China-India face off on disputed islands

India and China are reported to be pushing a new boundary law ahead of significant military exercises expected to take place near the disputed islands in the area.

New Delhi issued an indelible code of conduct after the incident in 2016 in which three Indian soldiers were killed. However, China says the Indian troops were not the targets of the soldiers’ shooting, and Indian leaders have called the new law unconstitutional.

On Tuesday the Times of India reported that India had quietly begun converting the code into a “direct law”, signed by the two sides in the form of a bilateral joint statement. The report warned that any large-scale military confrontation along the contested islands “could result in the emergence of a full-fledged war, with grave consequences for both the countries”.

The Chinese foreign ministry did not immediately respond to a request for comment from the Guardian.

The report said China had reacted angrily to India’s marking the disputed areas as their “core interest”, pointing out it acts as a caveat to any future claims. India and China fought a brief border war in 1962 over territory, and have a long history of diverging on big issues including the status of the Tibetan territories.

The Indian defence ministry told reporters last month that China had complained to the foreign ministry that India had violated the September 2016 agreement to reduce tension. New Delhi also reportedly responded with a further written warning not to repeat the 2018 incident.

Late last month India deployed the indigenously developed indigenously developed aircraft carrier, INS Vikrant, amid rumours of another planned mega-constabulary exercise on the waters around the islands. A defence ministry source said that no live fire had yet been fired in the fight, but no diving operations.

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