Earlier this week, shots were fired on the China-India border, breaking a decades-long protocol
that prohibited the use of firearms by soldiers patrolling in the sensitive region. Chinese and Indian officials both accused the other side of having fired first, and the reality of what happened may never be verified. As the border dispute—which was reignited by unarmed clashes along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in June—continues to escalate, the broader bilateral China-India relationship has steadily deteriorated. Despite high-level meetings aimed at stabilizing the situation, both sides have built up their forces along the border, backed by artillery, tanks, and fighter jets. A Wednesday report by Chinese state broadcaster CCTV appeared to show armed parachute drills
“in an unfamiliar area which is over 4,000 meters above sea level,” which may indicate that Beijing is preparing its elite special forces to face off against their Indian counterparts.