The US Intelligence Community’s Annual Threat Assessment has warned that the increased military activity of India and China along their disputed border has raised the risk of a potential armed conflict between the two nuclear powers. The report also suggests that such a conflict may pose a direct threat to US interests and people, necessitating intervention.
The report said that India-China relations will remain strained in wake of the countries’ lethal clash in 2020, the most serious in decades.
This comes despite the two countries engaging in bilateral border talks and resolving border points.
According to the US Intelligence Report, past confrontations between India and China have demonstrated that continuous minor tensions along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) could rapidly escalate. In light of the current military standoff with China along the LAC, defence intelligence agencies have recently issued a strong advisory to ensure that troops are not using Chinese mobile phones.
“Formations and units are to sensitise their personnel through various forms and channels to exercise caution with such (Chinese) mobile phone devices,” the advisory issued by the defence intelligence agencies said.
In the advisory accessed by ANI, the military spy agencies asked the formations to “discourage troops and their families from purchasing or using phones from countries hostile to India.”
The forces issued the advisory as there have been cases where malware and spyware have allegedly been found in Chinese-origin mobile phones by agencies, the sources said.
The spy agencies have asked the units and formations to “carry out the transition to other phones against the phones” mentioned in the list attached to the advisory.
The Chinese mobile phones available in the commercial market in the country include Vivo, Oppo, Xiaomi, One Plus, Honor, Real Me, ZTE, Gionee, ASUS and Infinix.
The spy agencies have been very active against Chinese mobile phone applications also in the past as multiple such applications were deleted from military personnel’s phones.
The 26th meeting of the Working Mechanism for Consultation & Coordination on India-China Border Affairs (WMCC) was held on 22 February 2023 in Beijing, marking the first in-person meeting since July 2019.
The Indian delegation was led by Joint Secretary (East Asia) from the Ministry of External Affairs, while the Chinese delegation was led by the Director General of the Boundary & Oceanic Affairs Department of the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
During the meeting, the two sides reviewed the situation along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in the Western Sector of the India-China border areas and discussed proposals for disengagement in the remaining areas. The discussions were conducted in an open and constructive manner with the objective of restoring peace and tranquillity along the LAC in the Western Sector and creating conditions for the restoration of normalcy in bilateral relations.
In accordance with existing bilateral agreements and protocols, the two sides agreed to hold the next (18th) round of the Senior Commanders meeting at an early date. They also agreed to continue discussions through military and diplomatic channels to achieve their objective.