Conflict between India and China is intensifying

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Ljust becomes a burden at this height. The steps are difficult, the lungs lack strength. The people of Ladakh say that their plateau, which is enclosed by eight-thousanders, is the only country where one “burns in the blazing sun and dies of cold death”. Most of this barren part of Kashmir is considered the mystical “land of the passes” because the road winds up from the Indus plain over Tanglang La to more than 5000 meters in the Himalayas. In reality, Ladakh is a deployment area.

Christoph Hein

Christoph Hein

Business correspondent for South Asia / Pacific based in Singapore.

The northern tip of India protrudes like a wedge into enemy territory: the contested border with Pakistan in the west. In the east, the Xinjiang and Tibet areas oppressed by Beijing, captured by the Communists in 1951. Ladakh’s Leh center remains a base camp for daring motorcyclists, experienced hikers and Buddhist pilgrims. For India, Leh is primarily a regimental city. “The Mountain Tamers”, the “mountain tamers”, are the names of the proud soldiers who lie here.

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