India repelled a Chinese military incursion on their disputed border last year with the help of US intelligence.
The US government shared “unprecedented” real-time details of the Chinese military’s position and strength with its Indian counterparts, alerting the Indian Army of the attempted “land grab,” US News reported, citing sources.
Apprised by the US, the Indian Army moved and blocked hundreds of People Liberation Army (PLA) soldiers in the eastern state of Arunachal Pradesh’s Tawang sector.
Dozens of troops from both sides were injured in the December 8 faceoff involving spiked clubs and taser-wielding soldiers. However, no one was killed.
According to the outlet, the PLA attempted to occupy a part of the border that has not been officially demarcated.
“They were waiting. And that’s because the US had given India everything to be fully prepared for this,” the outlet quoted a source as saying.
“It demonstrates a test case of the success of how the two militaries are now cooperating and sharing intelligence.”
The information, including “actionable satellite imagery,” was quicker and more detailed than anything previous, the outlet added.
Caught PLA ‘Off-Guard’
Citing a source, the outlet reported that the US knew weeks before the incident that the Chinese military had been planning a “testing exercise” in the region “to see if it could seize a new foothold in the remote mountain passes there or in other territory to which both China and India lay claim.”
According to the outlet, the US helped catch the PLA “off-guard,” enraging Beijing. It added that it “appears to have forced the Chinese Communist Party to reconsider its approach to land grabs along its borders.”
The incident followed a similar, albeit larger and more deadly, faceoff between the two armies in the northern Ladakh sector in 2020, claiming the lives of 20 Indian soldiers and at least four Chinese.
Basic Exchange and Cooperation Agreement
The intelligence-sharing took place under the Basic Exchange and Cooperation Agreement (BECA) on geospatial cooperation, which the two countries signed in 2020.
The agreement allows India to access real-time geographical coordinates for better weapons accuracy.
The BECA is one of four foundational agreements India has signed with the US, including the General Security of Military Information Agreement in 2002, the Logistics Exchange Memorandum of Agreement in 2016, and the Communications Compatibility and Security Agreement in 2018.