(NATIONAL INTEREST) – A large number of Indian soldiers will have to break out their winter garb and bundle up this summer as they're being deployed to the mountainous border region with China, as tensions between the two nuclear powers continue. It was a year ago that both sides massed units at the border in the Galwan Valley and eastern Ladakh near the poorly demarcated Line of Actual Control (LAC). In the months that followed India and China moved in tanks and constructed facilities for their respective forces to endure the long, cold winter.
Now the early summer temperatures in the region have risen and so too have tensions between New Delhi and Beijing. The two nations battled in the Himalayas in 1962, but in the decades that followed India's strategic focus has primarily been with its rival Pakistan.
However, after last year's brief—albeit deadly—encounter between Indian and Chinese soldiers, New Delhi has shifted that focus. According to reports from Indian media and Bloomberg, there are now some two hundred thousand Indian troops deployed along the border—an increase of more than forty percent from last year. As many as fifty thousand were deployed in just the past week, and where the past military presence along the border was aimed largely at blocking a Chinese invasion, this build-up could allow India the opportunity to attack and even seize territory should it take on an “offensive defense” strategy.
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