Responding to the Standoff on the LAC in Ladakh

By The Takshashila Geostrategy Team

This graphical representation looks at India’s options for responding its standoff with China on the Line of Actual Control (LAC) with the People’s Republic of China.

Since China has seized territory, it only needs to hold on to what it has gained to maintain the new status quo.

On the other hand, India’s task is more difficult since it seeks to return to status quo ante. To secure this, India can:

1.Seek a mutual de-escalation through diplomacy (unlikely). [1 green in the row]

2.Continue the standoff (hold). [1 green in the row]

3.Escalate by replicating China’s land grab elsewhere long the LAC and pursue mutual de-escalation. [2 greens in the row]

Under the circumstances, option 3 seems to be the better one.

Note: This only examines the tactical challenge of reversing the new status quo on the ground and does not consider broader strategic issues that could affect this calculus.