South Asia

Indian Toyota workers continue month-long strike against speedup

By Arun Kumar, 2 December 2020

Over 3,000 workers at two Toyota Kirloskar Motor-owned car assembly plants in Bidadi are continuing a four-week-long strike in defiance of the state government’s back-to-work order.

Mass farmer protest rattles India’s far-right BJP government

By Wasantha Rupasinghe and Keith Jones, 2 December 2020

The farmers are protesting a pro-corporate agrarian “reform” that Modi and his BJP rushed through parliament in September, at the same time as they were attacking workers’ right to strike and gutting restrictions on mass layoffs.

Eight protesting inmates demanding COVID-19 protection shot dead in Sri Lankan prison

By Pradeep Ramanayake, 1 December 2020

The brutal Mahara Prison killings are not an aberration but are in line with the increasingly repressive methods being employed to suppress opposition to the government’s COVID-19 response.

Statements of support from Sri Lanka in defence of Dr. Scalice against Stalinist slanders

By Our reporters, 1 December 2020

“In a period where the working class rallying behind a genuine revolutionary leadership is decisive, Scalice’s exposure has a huge contemporary relevance.”

MAS factory workers in Kilinochchi, Sri Lanka, discuss concerns over pandemic

By Subash Somachandran, 28 November 2020

Workers’ concerns have been deepened because of the disastrous pandemic situation globally and in Sri Lanka.

Millions of Indian workers join national general strike against Modi government’s social attacks

By Wasantha Rupasinghe, 27 November 2020

Yesterday’s strike was a powerful blow against the Modi government’s relentless barrage of Hindu chauvinism targeting Muslims and religious minorities, and other ruling elite attempts to promote caste and communal divisions.

Pseudo-left Fourth International Bureau announces suspension of NSSP

By Statement of the Socialist Equality Party (Sri Lanka), 26 November 2020

For three decades, the Pabloites have sanctioned every opportunist twist and turn of its Sri Lankan affiliate as it has sought to subordinate the working class to one or other section of the ruling class and its two major parties.

Tens of millions of workers to join all-India general strike

By Keith Jones, 26 November 2020

As a direct consequence of the reaction of ruling elites to the pandemic, focused on profits and share prices, social opposition in the working class is erupting.

India’s ruling elite welcomes Biden-Harris victory in US presidential election

By Deepal Jayasekera, 26 November 2020

The warm welcome for the President-elect is based on the calculation that a Biden administration will be no less committed than Trump’s to expanding the anti-China Indo-US “global strategic partnership.”

Sri Lankan budget: Tax bonanza for big business and increased burdens on working people

By Saman Gunadasa, 25 November 2020

The Rajapakse government’s tax concessions for the rich and cuts to education and other vital social services will drastically hit workers and the poor struggling to deal with the impact of COVID-19.

Sri Lankan artists discuss COVID-19 and its impact on their creative work, living conditions

By Wasantha Rupasinghe, 21 November 2020

Musical performances, theatre, film and teledrama production, book exhibitions and similar activities have almost entirely come to a halt. Kapila Kumara Kalinga and Malaka Devapriya spoke to the WSWS about the situation.

India’s unprecedented economic contraction deepens mass social misery

By Kranti Kumara, 20 November 2020

So meager are the earnings of India’s workers and toilers, three-quarters of the population in rural areas would not be able to afford the cheapest possible nutritious diet even if they spent all of their earnings on food.

Oppose Sri Lankan government’s repressive essential services order against port workers fighting COVID-19

By The Socialist Equality Party (Sri Lanka), 20 November 2020

The Rajapakse government’s assault on the democratic rights of port workers is a warning to the entire working class.

Toyota workers in India continue strike, defy state back-to-work order

By Shibu Vavara and Arun Kumar, 20 November 2020

Behind the state government’s strikebreaking order is the broader aim of the ruling class to make India a cheap-labor alternative to China.

COVID-19 drastically impacts Bangladesh students and youth

By Wimal Perera, 18 November 2020

Students, like other poor sections of the society, have been ignored by the Awami League government.

Sri Lankan government and opposition greet US president-elect Joe Biden

By K. Ratnayake, 14 November 2020

US governments are hostile to the cash-strapped Colombo regime increasingly looking for financial assistance from China.

Sri Lankan government lifts limited lockdown despite rising infections

By W.A. Sunil, 12 November 2020

From the beginning of October, the grossly understated official number of cases has increased dramatically by more than 10,000, while the death toll has risen by 33, or more than tripled.

COVID-19 pandemic creating a social disaster in India

By Wasantha Rupasinghe, 10 November 2020

Contrary to Modi’s lies, a humanitarian crisis is being generated in the world’s second most populous country.

SEP (Sri Lanka) outlines socialist alternative to pandemic and authoritarianism

By Our correspondents, 9 November 2020

The speakers stressed that the crisis in Sri Lanka and internationally could only be resolved through the independent political mobilisation of the working class=.

Indian Stalinists use Bihar elections to deepen their alliance with big-business Congress Party

By Arun Kumar, 7 November 2020

Under conditions of mounting social opposition, the Stalinists are doubling down on their efforts to harness the working class to the Congress and other right-wing parties.

Indian Magna Cosma workers continue strike against victimisation and for recognition of new union

By Shibu Vavara and Sasi Kumar, 6 November 2020

The strikers are challenging the Canadian conglomerate’s super exploitation of a multi-tier workforce, with just 75 permanent workers alongside 350 contract workers and 200 trainees.

Sri Lankan government rejects total lockdown amid surging COVID-19 infections

By Pradeep Ramanayake, 5 November 2020

The Rajapakse regime’s decisions are aimed at continuing corporate operations, particularly factory production for exports, forcing workers to stay on the job.

Bangladeshi jute mill workers demand reopening of closed mills

By Wimal Perera, 3 November 2020

Despite police harassment, workers retrenched from state-run mills have staged several demonstrations against the closures and plans for privatization.

US Secretary of State insists Sri Lanka lines up against China

By Saman Gunadasa, 31 October 2020

The US has been hostile to China’s influence in strategically important Sri Lanka, as preparations for a US-instigated war against China are escalated.

Indian health and public sector workers strike; Chinese courier drivers protest over unpaid wages; hospital workers and nurses threaten strikes in Australia, New Zealand and Solomon Islands

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

30 October 2020

The World Socialist Web Site invites workers and other readers to contribute to this regular feature.

Amid tense India-China border stand-off, US and India boost military-security partnership

By Deepal Jayasekera and Keith Jones, 29 October 2020

India’s BJP government has exploited the ongoing military border standoff with China to integrate India still more fully into American imperialism’s incendiary military-strategic offensive against Beijing.

Half of India’s population could be infected with COVID-19 by next February

By Wasantha Rupasinghe, 29 October 2020

A government appointed committee has warned of a potential second wave of infections in winter leading to a sharp rise in the percentage of the population hit by the coronavirus.

Rally welcoming relaunch of WSWS

The relaunched website facilitates the development of the world party of socialist revolution

By Wije Dias, 27 October 2020

The remarks below were given by Wije Dias, general secretary of the Socialist Equality Party of Sri Lanka.

Sri Lankan parliament boosts president’s autocratic powers

By K. Ratnayake, 26 October 2020

The move towards dictatorship in Sri Lanka coincides with the drive by the ruling classes in every country towards fascist and autocratic rule.

Bangladeshi union shuts down port workers national strike; Assam rail workers demand festival allowance; Western Australian workers protest after worksite death

Workers Struggles: Asia and Australia

24 October 2020

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Mounting evidence of systemic Australian war crimes in Afghanistan

By Mike Head, 24 October 2020

The atrocities flowed inevitably from the nature of the war—a brutal operation to crush all resistance to the US military occupation of the impoverished country.

Sri Lankan workers must rally the rural poor against Rajapakse’s “herd immunity” policies

By Socialist Equality Party (Sri Lanka) statement, 22 October 2020

The true situation was hidden from the outset because the government refused to implement rigorous anti-COVID-19 measures when the virus first impacted on the country in late January.

Sri Lankan SEP to hold online meeting on a socialist program to fight COVID-19

By The Socialist Equality Party (Sri Lanka), 22 October 2020

The event will discuss the policies necessary for workers, the rural poor and youth to combat the coronavirus disaster and the Rajapakse administration’s austerity and anti-democratic measures.

World Bank: South Asian economies hit hard by COVID-19

By Saman Gunadasa, 20 October 2020

The report bluntly warns that “more people will be added to the ranks of the extreme poor in South Asia than in any other region in 2020.”

Sri Lankan free trade zone employees told to keep working as infections rise

By Wimal Perera and Kapila Fernando, 17 October 2020

“The lives of workers have been thrown to the wolves in order to protect the profits of the big capitalists,” one worker told the WSWS.

Andhra Pradesh textile workers strike; 400,000 Assam tea plantation workers walk out; Western Australia: Offshore LNG platform employees in Western Australia take action

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

17 October 2020

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US Secretary of State Pompeo to visit Sri Lanka amid rising anti-China provocations

By Vijith Samarasinghe, 15 October 2020

Pompeo’s visit is another step in Washington’s policy of pushing its Asian regional partners into direct military confrontation with Beijing.

North and East of Sri Lanka paralysed by mass anti-government protest

By Subash Somachandran, 15 October 2020

Social opposition is mounting among workers and the poor across Sri Lanka against the Rajapakse government’s continuous attacks on social and democratic rights.

COVID-19 outbreak exposes Sri Lankan government claims that pandemic is under control

By Naveen Dewage, 13 October 2020

The previous, relatively low number of COVID-19 infections in Sri Lanka is mainly the result of the government’s refusal to carry out systematic testing.

Sri Lankan government presses ahead with plans for a presidential dictatorship

By Saman Gunadasa and K. Ratnayake, 10 October 2020

Facing an economic catastrophe exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic, President Rajapakse wants new anti-democratic measures to suppress the eruption of mass social struggles by the working class.

Bangladesh’s Awami League government intensifies anti-democratic attacks on its critics

By Wimal Perera, 6 October 2020

Prime Minister Sheik Hasina has responded to the social crisis exacerbated by COVID-19 by suppressing information on the disease and persecuting journalists.

India to reopen schools, despite COVID-19 death toll surging past 100,000

By Saman Gunadasa, 6 October 2020

The Modi government long ago abandoned any effort to stop the spread of COVID-19, and is insisting workers be forced back on the job to produce profits for big business, whatever the cost in human lives.

India: 13,000 teachers in Delhi strike over unpaid wages; Government doctors protest in Pakistan; LNG offshore maintenance workers to walk out in Western Australia

Workers Struggles: Asia and Australia

3 October 2020

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Chinese students support historian Joseph Scalice against Stalinist slanders

By Our correspondents, 3 October 2020

We urge our readers, including in China, to come to the defence of Dr. Scalice, including by sending statements of support to the WSWS opposing the slanderous attack on him by the CPP and sharing his lecture widely.

Modi government rams half-dozen anti-worker, anti-farmer laws through India’s parliament

By Kranti Kumara, 3 October 2020

The BJP’s labour “reform” abolishes restrictions on the use of contract labour, job cuts, and plant closures, and illegalises most worker job action.

In another judicial travesty, Indian court exonerates BJP leaders in razing of Babri Masjid

By Deepal Jayasekera, 2 October 2020

Wednesday’s verdict will embolden the Hindu right, Narendra Modi and the BJP in their communal provocations and assault on the social and democratic rights of India’s toilers.

Sri Lankan government lies exposed as new COVID-19 infections emerge

By Pradeep Ramanayaka, 29 September 2020

Despite the Rajapakse government’s boasting that it has curbed the pandemic, the working class is confronted with the threat that the virus could rapidly spread at any moment.

The world has reached the grim milestone of one million COVID-19 deaths

By Benjamin Mateus, 28 September 2020

With some 33 million infected out of nearly eight billion people, “herd immunity” remains a distant prospect and winter could bring conditions for a rapid resurgence of the pandemic.

Social health workers demonstrate in Tamil Nadu; Vietnamese garment workers strike over pay; Qantas baggage handlers protest against job cuts

Workers Struggles: Asia and Australia

26 September 2020

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Sri Lankan plantation workers strike against wage cuts

By M. Thevarajah, 25 September 2020

The plantation companies, with the direct support of the unions, have begun imposing wage and allowance cuts and higher productivity targets.

India’s health minister downplays raging pandemic to conceal ruling elite’s criminal “herd immunity” policy

By Saman Gunadasa, 24 September 2020

With the economy now largely reopened, the government has placed all responsibility for containing the virus onto working people.

Sri Lankan SEP holds online lecture on how to fight Rajapakse’s dictatorial moves

By our correspondents, 23 September 2020

The online lecture has been viewed by more than 14,000 people since it was live-streamed earlier this month.

India: Chennai garbage workers strike; Sri Lankan bank workers protest over contracts; Australian waterfront workers walkout

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

19 September 2020

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SEP (Sri Lanka) condemns Philippines Maoist party’s slanders against historian Joseph Scalice

Statement of the Socialist Equality Party (Sri Lanka), 18 September 2020

Sri Lanka is one of the countries, like the Philippines, where groups following Maoism brought one disaster after another to workers, young people and rural poor.

Indian police and BJP government extend witch-hunt against anti-CAA protesters to filmmaker Rahul Roy

By Wasantha Rupasinghe, 16 September 2020

Monday’s interrogation of Roy and his wife comes after the Delhi police spuriously implicated prominent cultural and political figures in the BJP-fomented communal violence.

US defence secretary phones Sri Lankan president about increased military cooperation

By Vijith Samarasinghe, 16 September 2020

Washington wants enhanced military relations with the strategically-located island in order to intensify its war drive against China.

Indian workers speak out against Modi, trade unions on COVID-19 pandemic

By Sasi Kumar and V. Gnana, 15 September 2020

WSWS reporters interviewed workers in the south Indian state of Tamil Nadu on the situation facing Indian workers during the pandemic.

India-China border conflict remains on knife’s edge

By Jordan Shilton and Keith Jones, 12 September 2020

US support for India and efforts by major European powers to boost their military-strategic presence in the Indo-Pacific could cascade the border crisis into a catastrophic war.

Constitutional amendment aims to provide Sri Lankan president with authoritarian powers

By Sanjaya Jayasekera and Deepal Jayasekera, 12 September 2020

Like his political counterparts around the world, Rajapakse’s preparations for dictatorial rule are being made in order to unleash a massive social assault on the working class.

India: Petrol refinery and agricultural marketing workers strike against privatisation; Pakistani government workers strike against pay freeze

Workers Struggles: Asia and Australia

12 September 2020

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India’s Supreme Court punishes prominent lawyer for criticizing its role in assault on democratic rights

By Kranti Kumara, 11 September 2020

Time and again, India’s Supreme Court has aided and abetted the anti-democratic actions and Hindu communalist provocations of the Modi government.

India-China border tensions flare anew, posing threat of catastrophic military conflict

By Deepal Jayasekera, 5 September 2020

India’s increasingly aggressive stance against China is being stoked by Washington.

West Bengal administrative workers strike; Maharashtra nurses hold state-wide protests; private sector nurses strike in New Zealand

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

5 September 2020

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Thousands of workers strike at Indian arms factories; Indonesian police attack paper mill workers; South Korean doctors continue strike

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

29 August 2020

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Tamil National Alliance in deep crisis after Sri Lankan election collapse

By Subash Somachandran, 27 August 2020

The electoral collapse of the TNA is the product of the political bankruptcy, demonstrated over decades, of the Tamil bourgeois-nationalist perspective.

Sri Lankan SEP to hold online lecture on how to fight Rajapakse’s dictatorial moves

27 August 2020

The SEP-IYSSE lecture will explain the necessity for a socialist program to fight President Rajapakse’s escalating steps towards dictatorship.

After the Sri Lankan election, president moves towards dictatorial rule

By the Socialist Equality Party (Sri Lanka), 25 August 2020

The SEP warns workers and youth that they face real dangers as the Rajapakse government prepares an all-out offensive against the social and democratic rights of working people.

Pakistani university workers oppose job cuts; Offshore gas platform workers strike in Western Australia; New Zealand health workers protest

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

22 August 2020

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Millions of Indian workers strike to protest attacks by Modi government amid COVID-19 pandemic

By Wasantha Rupasinghe, 21 August 2020

Millions of workers have joined strikes and protests opposing the government’s attacks on their wages and working conditions.

India: Motherson’s “inquiry” rubber stamps sacking of strikers

By Arun Kumar, 17 August 2020

The ongoing persecution of Motherson autoparts strikers was facilitated by the Maoist Left Trade Union Centre’s betrayal of the 140-day walkout.

Modi government intensifies repression one year after its constitutional coup against Kashmir

By Kranti Kumara and Keith Jones, 15 August 2020

The Modi government’s illegal abrogation of Kashmir’s semi-autonomous status and imposition of a state-of-siege in the Muslim-majority region have been conspicuously ignored by the US and other major imperialist powers.

Indian social health workers hold two-day national strike; South Korean hospital doctors walkout

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

15 August 2020

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Sri Lankan prime minister admits US is behind Colombo Port deal with India

By Vijith Samarasinghe, 14 August 2020

The Colombo Port workers’ struggle has demonstrated that the US and India want Sri Lanka tied to their strategic and military moves against nuclear-armed China.

South Asian governments ignore millions of monsoon flood victims

By Wimal Perera, 13 August 2020

While the suffering of flood-hit people mount amid the monsoon rains, South Asian governments refuse to provide them necessary assistance.

Hospital fire in southern India kills 10 COVID-19 patients

By Arun Kumar, 12 August 2020

With the pandemic spreading rapidly in the country, the circumstances of the fire point to criminal negligence on the part of governments and hotel and hospital authorities.

Sri Lankan election exposes historic crisis of capitalist rule

By K. Ratnayake, 11 August 2020

The election is not a “people’s victory,” but an electoral win by a party preparing for authoritarian rule under President Rajapakse who has already appointed a host of generals to his administration.

Indian railway and Sri Lankan port workers oppose privatisation; Australian supermarket warehouse employees stop work over COVID-19 infection

Workers Struggles: Asia and Australia

8 August 2020

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War crimes in Afghanistan covered up by UK Ministry of Defence

By Jean Shaoul, 6 August 2020

Documents, written by SAS officers and military personnel, provide evidence of war crimes.

Sri Lankan Trotskyists hold final online election meeting

By our correspondents, 6 August 2020

The Socialist Equality Party held its last meeting on August 2, after a determined election campaign that reached key sections of the Sri Lankan working class and youth.

Consecrating an historic crime:

Indian PM Modi to lay cornerstone for Hindu temple at site of razed Ayodhya mosque

By Deepal Jayasekera, 5 August 2020

Facing mounting popular anger over its ruinous response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the BJP government is doubling down on its Hindu supremacist agenda.

COVID-19 infections rapidly spread across Bangladesh

By Rohantha De Silva, 1 August 2020

The worsening coronavirus crisis in Bangladesh is a direct result of inadequate public health spending by successive governments.

Sri Lankan SEP to hold online meeting to conclude its election campaign

1 August 2020

The SEP is the only party fighting for an international socialist perspective against deepening social inequality, the danger of imperialist war and the threat of dictatorship.

India: Punjab health workers strike for permanent jobs; Asahi auto glass-making workers strike in Chennai; Woolworths Distribution Centre workers locked out in Australia

Workers Struggles: Asia, Australia and the Pacific

1 August 2020

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India set to surpass two million COVID-19 cases within days

By Wasantha Rupasinghe, 30 July 2020

While the government claims that it is mounting a “successful battle,” the virus is rampaging across the India, with half a million new infections in the past 12 days.

SEP election campaign in Sri Lanka: Workers denounce establishment parties

By our reporters, 25 July 2020

Over the past weeks, SEP campaigners have discussed with workers and youth the need to politically fight on the basis of a socialist program.

Indian health workers protest over COVID-19 treatment discrimination and wages; Western Australian caterers and cleaners strike on offshore gas platforms

Workers Struggles: Asia and Australia

25 July 2020

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South Asian floods kill hundreds and displace millions

By Arun Kumar, 24 July 2020

The flooding comes as Indian and Bangladeshi residents were attempting to recover from Cyclone Amphan, which destroyed or damaged 260,000 houses in May.

Sri Lankan SEP election meeting discusses working-class response to COVID-19 pandemic

By our correspondents, 22 July 2020

More than 2,000 people—in Sri Lanka and internationally—have watched SEP’s online event, posting comments and questions about the party’s program.

Bangladeshi government cracks down on opposition to jute mill privatisation

By Wimal Perera, 21 July 2020

The police arrest of two activists is an attempt to intimidate workers opposing the government’s destruction of thousands of jute mill jobs.

India: Over 40,000 Karnataka health workers begin indefinite state-wide strike; Pakistani doctors protest and Sri Lanka nurses demand overtime pay

Workers Struggles: Asia and Australia

18 July 2020

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As India approaches 1 million COVID-19 cases, Modi government continues to deny community transmission

By Wasantha Rupasinghe, 17 July 2020

The absurd claim that India is not experiencing significant community transmission is part of the government’s reckless back-to-work drive and its criminal “herd immunity” policy.

Tamil National Alliance offers to support Sri Lankan president’s autocratic rule

By Paramu Thirugnanasambanthar—lead SEP candidate for Jaffna district, 17 July 2020

The TNA is offering to support Rajapakse’s moves to dictatorial forms of rule as long as he makes concessions, no matter how small, to the interests of the venal Tamil elites.

As support widens for SEP defence campaign

Sri Lanka army commander says allegations of military harassment of northern election candidates are “false”

By our correspondents, 16 July 2020

Army commander Shavendra Silva’s claims and his refusal to acknowledge the detailed evidence provided by the SEP are a veiled threat against all election candidates in the North.

Amid Sri Lankan elections, YouTube censors Tamil-language WSWS posts

By V. Gnana, 16 July 2020

The move aims to prevent the Socialist Equality Party of Sri Lanka from alerting Tamil-speaking workers internationally in a timely fashion of the political dangers they face.

UNICEF report: COVID-19 exacerbating hunger and other maladies facing South Asia’s children

By Naveen Dewage, 15 July 2020

According to the UNICEF report, close to 1 million more South Asian children could die in the coming year due to lack of access to food, vaccines, and timely medical care.

Massive worker participation in three-day India Coal strike

By Kranti Kumara, 11 July 2020

Last week’s strike had a huge impact on Coal India’s output, indicating that a large majority of its more than 500,000 regular and contract workers joined the walkout.

Neyveli Thermal plant explosion in southern India kills 13 workers

By Arun Kumar, 10 July 2020

The explosion at the government-owned mine and power plant is a result of the corporation’s refusal to replace outdated and dangerous facilities and equipment.

Surge in infections gives India third highest COVID-19 cases worldwide

By Wasantha Rupasinghe, 9 July 2020

The surge is a direct result of the Modi government’s homicidal “herd immunity” policy, which prioritizes the profit interests of big business over the lives of workers and their families.

Letters demand Sri Lankan defence secretary stop military harassment of SEP candidates

By our correspondents, 9 July 2020

This campaign is part of broader struggle to defend the democratic rights of all working people against dictatorial measures.

India takes economic reprisals against China as border frictions continue

By Deepal Jayasekera and Keith Jones, 8 July 2020

Although several rounds of talks have been held, both New Delhi and Beijing continue to maintain an enhanced military presence along their disputed border.