US refused to confirm a news report citing that the US provided crucial intelligence to the Indian military last year that helped it successfully tackle the Chinese at the border.
Taking to the podium during the daily press briefing, National Security Council coordinator for Strategic Communications at the White House, John Kirby did not deny nor confirmed the story and said, "No, I can't confirm that," when pressed about the news report.
According to the U.S. News and World Report, the US government for the first time provided real-time details to its Indian counterparts of the Chinese positions and force strength in advance of incursions by the PLA in Arunachal Pradesh's Tawang Sector.
On December 9, 2022, hundreds of Indian and Chinese forces clashed along the Line of Actual Control (LAC)
The source-based story that was published earlier today stated that India was able to repel a Chinese military incursion in contested border territory late last year due to unprecedented intelligence-sharing with the U.S. military.
The report further adds that the information shared by the Pentagon included actionable satellite imagery and was more detailed and delivered more quickly than anything the U.S. had previously shared with the Indian military.
During the 2022 border clash, neither side used firearms, and no deaths were reported, but both Indian and Chinese forces sustained injuries.
"They were waiting. And that's because the U.S. had given India everything to be fully prepared for this," the source told US News. "It demonstrates a test case of the success of how the two militaries are now cooperating and sharing intelligence."
In the wake of those 2020 clashes, India and China held 17 rounds of military talks -- but have been unable to reach terms for disengagement across key areas of the disputed border.
The source quoted in the report seemed familiar with the assessment and asserted that the U.S. government in the weeks before the encounter was fully cognizant that China was carrying out test exercises in the region.
"This will definitely rattle the Chinese because they will have not experienced this before, and they perhaps had a sense of superiority that they were able to do this with different skirmishes in the past," the source says. "This time they did not hold the advantage like they did before."
After the 2022 incident, Chinese and Indian military commanders met again to defuse any risk of further escalation. In a parliamentary briefing, Indian Defense Minister Rajnath Singh claimed the incident began when Chinese troops crossed the LAC in the Tawang sector to "unilaterally change the status quo." Chinese sources disputed that characterization of events, but claimed the situation on the border was "under control."
Recently, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) in its Annual Report 2021-22, said that continued unilateral attempts by China to change the Line of Actual Control (LAC) status quo have impacted India-China bilateral relationship.
According to the MEA report, China has since April-May 2020, undertaken several attempts to unilaterally alter the status quo along the LAC in Western Sector, which seriously disturbed the peace and tranquillity along the LAC. (ANI)