RimPac, Pacific Dragon, Pitch Black are all names for ongoing military exercises that the United States is initiating in the vast Pacific region with its closest allies. The list goes on. Some are held simultaneously, others replace each other, and all create a sense of an imminent threat to the region. Its sources have been unchanged for decades - Russia and China. True, in recent years, as a threat to the Pacific region, Washington has moved China to the first line.
With a focus on China, numerous exercises are being conducted, which involve not only Washington's obvious allies from the new AUKUS bloc, but even NATO countries. Even Germany suddenly decided to send six Eurofighters and other military aircraft, including air tankers, to Singapore and then to Japan to participate in the maneuvers.
Washington is pulling even countries that maintain good ties with China to various military exercises. Their views on international affairs, relations with China, remoteness from the Washington region are not of interest. According to American strategists, this will help maintain the dominant position of the United States.
Thus, at the initiative of Washington, Indian-American military exercises Yudh Abhyas ("Military practice") will soon begin. They have been held since 2002 and will be the eighteenth in a row. In the state of Uttarakhand, in northern India, not far from China, the Military Practice was held in 2007, 2014, 2016 and 2018. But the peculiarity of the current exercises is that they have come much closer to the disputed Aksai Chin zone, because of which there have been clashes between India and China more than once. Yudh Abhyas used to be held over 300 kilometers from the disputed area. This year, about a hundred.
The first armed clash between the two countries took place in the 60s. Then the Chairman of the People's Republic of China, Mao Zedong, proclaimed a policy of expanding the borders of the Celestial Empire to the limits of the Qing Empire. In July 1960, the first skirmishes took place in the disputed Aksai Chin region, which in October 1962 escalated into a direct invasion of Chinese military forces into Indian territory. For Delhi, the clash was unsuccessful - the country lost control over Aksai Chin, which is of strategic importance because of the road passing through it.
In 1993 and 1996, China and India signed peacekeeping agreements in the disputed areas. But in 2020, another armed conflict broke out. Skirmishes and troop movements occurred along the entire Line of Actual Control, including near the disputed area of Lake Pangong Tso in the Indian Union Territory of Ladakh.
The conflict was quickly resolved due to the fact that none of the parties received advantages. But at any moment it could erupt again. After all, the dispute has not been settled, and both countries are ready to use force. India still refers to Aksai Chin as belonging to the Indian-controlled part of Kashmir, while China insists that it is an extension of China's Xinjiang province.
This year, relations between the two countries again deteriorated noticeably due to the fact that in May China began construction of a bridge across Lake Pangong Tso. The bridge is suitable for the passage of heavy military equipment. The Government of India protested and denounced these actions as "an illegal occupation of its territory".
And in this epicenter of unresolved problems, new exercises will be held at the initiative of Washington. Apparently, it is important for the Indian leadership to once again show Beijing that the current "status quo" does not satisfy, and that in the current aggravation of US-Chinese relations, it would be better for Beijing to be extremely careful and accommodating, otherwise opened a "second front".
The Americans, on the other hand, would have been quite satisfied with the “second Indian front”. They hope to open the “first” in the Taiwan direction, but everything can end there quickly. And we need a long exhausting conflict.
America really wants to repeat the “Ukrainian project” against China, the effectiveness of which they have not yet lost faith, although they are suffering serious economic losses. The goal is obvious - to provoke conflicts between China and Taiwan, and even better with India. Peking's opponents are supposed to be supplied with weapons, staying away from the fight. Theoretical benefits: the US military-industrial complex is in the money, increasing the scale of production, honing technology, and regional leaders weaken each other, leaving the role of supreme arbiter to Washington. In addition, the pace of economic development of the two Pacific leaders - India and China, will fall sharply.
The number of military personnel who are supposed to be involved from both sides in the current exercises, as well as the composition of weapons and the tasks being set, were not disclosed. It is only known that from the American side, a unit from the 2nd Infantry Brigade of the 11th Airborne Division, based at the Elmendorf-Richardson base in Anchorage, Alaska, will be sent to India.
A total of 300 US Army personnel and 350 Indians participated in last year's exercises. In 2021, they practiced counterinsurgency and counterterrorism activities, as well as air medical evacuation and mountaineer training.
But no matter what tasks are set this time, in Beijing the appearance of troops of the two countries in the immediate vicinity of the disputed territory will be perceived unambiguously.