Indian Air Force chief of staff to review new officers one year after Ladakh clash

Indian chief of staff RKS Bhadauria will today review a parade of newly commissioned Air Force officers in Dundigul. Amid

Indian Chief of Air Staff presides over graduation ceremony

Photo: Press Information Bureau Delhi

Indian chief of staff RKS Bhadauria will today review a parade of newly commissioned Air Force officers in Dundigul.

Amid strained relations with China over the disputed Himalayan border region of Ladakh, India has since sought to strengthen its air power capabilities. Following last year’s violent clash between soldiers of the two nuclear-armed countries, India has increased the size of its Air Force. For example, last month India increased the number of French-made Rafale fighter jets in its arsenal from 20 to 23.

Sino-Indian relations will remain in a precarious state so long as the Ladakh dispute remains unresolved. A broader diplomatic solution would require preliminary resolution of two outstanding points of concern. First, India and China will need to agree on the length of their border, which centers on historic disputes regarding sovereignty over Kashmir. Second, India and China would need to permanently establish an Actual Line of Control which, since 1993, has been determined by the governments of both countries on an ad hoc basis.

Should these preliminary objectives be accomplished, the two countries are poised to reach a lasting agreement on Ladakh. Otherwise, expect the border to remain a source of tension in the relationship.

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