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China Provoked India in Latest Clash, U.S. Believes - The incident near the Pangong Tso Lake this week has deeply puzzled U.S. intelligence officials and analysts, who don’t understand why Beijing would ‘shoot itself in the foot.’…
The U.S. believes Indian forces have prevented any loss of ground, according to a source familiar with the assessment who spoke on the condition of anonymity, following the latest faceoff.
"We are staggered at the timing of the Chinese actions," according to the intelligence assessment, "but shouldn't complain either if Beijing shoots itself in the foot."
The U.S. intelligence assessment concludes Chinese troops this time were building encampments in contested space – a tactic both sides have employed to gain a foothold they can later expand into infrastructure to support broader operations in the future. .
A "scuffle" that came close to erupting into an all-out brawl commenced after Indian troops arrived, though officers on both sides reportedly withdrew their forces before actual fighting began.
A Chinese officer with the equivalent rank of a colonel in the U.S. military gave the order for his forces to withdraw, U.S. intelligence believes, against the wishes of higher military commands in Beijing
Chinese President Xi Jinping would have to have known about each of the latest clashes in advance due to the nature of Chinese military decisionmaking.
U.S. intelligence officials now believe that he may have created a "cycle of provocations" and doesn't know how to extract the Chinese army without appearing to show weakness.
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