Manoj Joshi, "Understanding the India-China Border: The Enduring Threat of War in High Himalaya" (Hurst, 2022)

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On June 16 2020, Indian and Chinese forces clashed high in the Himalayan mountains in Aksai Chin. Beijing and New Delhi both claim control over this remote region in a territorial dispute dating back decades. Sources differ on how many soldiers died in the skirmish, fought with fists and clubs rather than guns, with the potential dead ranging into the dozens.

Looking back two years later, Galwan marked a clear turning point in relations between the two Asian countries, with India now taking a much harsher line towards China, joining the U.S., Australia and Japan in the so-called Quad Alliance, banning Chinese-affiliated apps like Alibaba and TikTok.

Why has the border between China and India been disputed for so long? And what made the bloody clash at Galwan a watershed for New Delhi? Manoj Joshi in Understanding the India-China Border: The Enduring Threat of War in High Himalaya (Hurst: 2022) explains where this dispute came from, how it sometimes sparked war, and the many failed attempts to find a negotiated solution.

Manoj Joshi is a Distinguished Fellow at the Observer Research Foundation. He has been a journalist specializing on national and international politics and is a commentator and columnist on these issues. As a reporter, he has written extensively on issues relating to Siachen, Pakistan, China, Sri Lanka and terrorism in Kashmir and Punjab.

Today, Manoj and I talk about the border dispute, where it came from, and why both countries have been unable to reach a negotiated solution.

You can find more reviews, excerpts, interviews, and essays at The Asian Review of Books, including its review of Understanding the India-China Border. Follow on Twitter at @BookReviewsAsia.

Nicholas Gordon is an associate editor for a global magazine, and a reviewer for the Asian Review of Books. He can be found on Twitter at@nickrigordon.

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