Tensions are escalating between the world’s two most populous nations. In a string of tit-for-tat actions, India and China have kicked out almost all of each other’s journalists.
According to the Wall Street Journal, New Delhi last month refused to extend the visas of two Chinese state media reporters. They were the last of the official Chinese media that remained in India.
Beijing has threatened to take what it calls “appropriate countermeasures.”
Indian journalists fared no better in China. In April, Beijing denied two Indian reporters re-entry into China. A third one was already on Chinese soil, but had his credentials revoked.
The media ejection builds on a decades-old dispute. It focuses on the two countries’ shared border, known as the Line of Actual Control, or LAC. The conflict turned deadly after a 2020 military standoff killed 20 Indian soldiers and an unknown number of Chinese troops.
Satellite photos from last month show China expanding three airfields along the LAC. The footage was taken by Planet Labs, a San Francisco-based Earth imaging company. New runways, fortified bunkers, and military facility buildings are visible around the airfields — a noteworthy expansion from their scale in 2020. Together, these three airports span northern India.
Analysts see the ongoing construction as efforts by Beijing to widen the range of its air force operations, in a bid to bolster its offensive capabilities.