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description Journal article public CLAWS Journal

The Ladakh Crisis and the Opportunity for US-India Relations—with a Catch

Michael Kugelman
Published 2020

Abstract

The recent India-China border crisis in Ladakh underscores the threat posed by Beijing to the United States (US) and Indian interests in the Indo-Pacific region. Accordingly, the spat presents opportunities to strengthen the US-India partnership. However, the crisis also risks exposing the partnership's limits. This paper argues that to fully capitalise on the opportunities that the crisis generates for US-India relations, Washington and New Delhi should make some definitional and operational calibrations to their relationship. Additionally, America should expand its geographic conception of “Indo Pacific” beyond sea-based theatres and into land-based spaces, including the Line of Actual Control (LAC). This wider purview would strengthen US-India relations and serve US interests more broadly by expanding the scope for cooperation with Indo-Pacific states within the ambit of America's Asia policy.

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