Washington : Terming Chinese “occupation of contested areas” on the Sino-Indian border last year a “most serious escalation in decades”, a United States intelligence report said border tensions between New Delhi and Beijing “remain high” despite some force pullbacks early this year.
In an unclassified annual report on worldwide threats assessment, the US’ Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) on Tuesday noted that after multiple rounds of talks, as of mid-February, both sides were pulling back forces and equipment from some sites along the disputed border.
The office of DNI oversees the US Intelligence Community and serves as principal adviser to the President on intelligence issues.
“China-India border tensions remain high, despite some force pullbacks this year. China’s occupation since May 2020 of contested border areas is the most serious escalation in decades and led to the first lethal border clash between the two countries since 1975,” the report said.
“As of mid-February, after multiple rounds of talks, both sides were pulling back forces and equipment from some sites along the disputed border,” it added.
The report said interstate conflicts will also flare, ranging from border sparring, such as that between China and India, to potentially more sustained violent confrontations.
“Internal and interstate conflict and instability will continue to pose direct and indirect threats to US persons and interests during the next year. Competition for power and resources, ethnic strife and ideology will drive insurgency and civil war in many countries,” the report said.
Actions by Chinese army resulted in a stand-off between India and China last year.
The two sides agreed to disengage their troops around Pangong Tso two months ago after extensive talks but points of friction remain, including Hot Springs, Gogra and Depsang in eastern Ladakh.
India and China held the 11th round of Corps Commander-level talks in Ladakh last week.