The so-called "Line of Actual Control" -- a 2,400-mile disputed boundary that divides India from China -- is longer than the distance between Jacksonville and San Diego. Most of it is located in the high, desolate mountains -- land where "not even a blade of grass grows," as Indian prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru put it in the years preceding the 1962 Sin0-Indian War. And yet this barren landscape has been a source of tension between the two Asian giants for more than half a century.
The recent incursion by Chinese soldiers into Indian territory is only the latest in a long history of skirmishes over the boundary. While cooperation since the border was reopened in 2006 has helped diffuse tensions, the dividing line is still regularly crossed by the Chinese military. In their article "The Most Dangerous Border in the World" for Foreign Policy, Ely Ratner and Alexander Sullivan write that while the latest standoff is unlikely to result in war, the China-India fault line is worth our attention as a flashpoint in the complicated dynamics between the two powers. For more, check out these images of life on the ever-fraught Sino-Indian border.
Above, Indian Army soldiers patrol the Line of Control at the India-China international border in Bumla at an altitude of 15,700 feet above sea level in Arunachal Pradesh state, India in October 2012.