Chinese Military Buildup Near India Worries Pentagon
The US Defense Department is newly concerned about China’s further military buildup near the demarcation line across its Himalayan border with India, a senior defense official told Jack Detsch of Foreign Policy after Beijing deployed long-range strategic bombers to the area last month in another apparent warning to New Delhi.
Photo Insert: The India-China border
The senior defense official, who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss sensitive policy deliberations, said that the buildup fits the pattern of Chinese regional aggression seen elsewhere in the Indo-Pacific region, such as in the Philippines, where the Chinese coast guard vessels moved to block Philippine supply boats in November.
But there’s optimism among experts and officials that India will be able to stand its ground against the People’s Liberation Army. New Delhi has put up more diplomatic and military resistance than China’s antagonists in other territorial incursions, such as in the South China Sea, experts said.
“It’s just clear that [China has] become more assertive all across their territorial fault lines,” said Jeff Smith, a research fellow at the Heritage Foundation’s Asian Studies Center.
“Arguably India is the one where they’ve met the most resistance. The Indians will not be cowed, coerced, or intimidated.”