Foreign PolicyInternational RelationsInternational ConflictInternational PeaceInternational Development

China – India Border Conflict

Tensions continue to escalate between China and India over the porous border between the two nuclear powers. The world’s two largest countries, in terms of population, share a border that is over 2,000 miles long. This border occasionally shifts due to the terrain, leading to conflict. On January 20,  Chinese troops attempted to enter the strategically located Indian state of Sikkim. The situation was quickly resolved without any major bloodshed; however, anxiety runs deep on both sides since this isn’t the first standoff between the two.

Instructors, click the link below to download this week’s lecture for use in your classroom. The deck contains a writing prompt and a debate question as well as other assessment questions.

Download the PowerPoint Lecture Spark for “China – India Border Conflict"


“Sikkim: Chinese and Indian troops ‘in new border clash

“India Says Troops Had ‘Minor Face-Off’ With China in Sikkim Border Area”

“India, China troops in ‘minor face-off’ at disputed Sikkim border”

“India and China hold 16-hours long talks on border dispute”

“China-India border dispute: troops saw ‘minor’ clash amid ninth round of talks to resolve row”

“Indian, Chinese soldiers injured in physical brawl near Naku La in Sikkim”

“India-China tensions unlikely to ease”


  • Writing: Describe why it matters if relations between China and India deteriorate.
  • Debate: The U.S. and the international community should step in to help avert war and stabilize the region?
  • Poll: Should countries be able to use nuclear weapons against an adversary?
  • Short Answer: What would be the geopolitical impact if China and India get into a war?

Current events quiz:

1) All the following are true EXCEPT:

a. India has a population under 1 billion people
b. China has nuclear weapons.
c. The official government type within India is communist party-led state.
d. China has a larger active-duty military personnel than India.

2) Which of the following is prevented along the China-India border per a 1996 agreement between the two countries?

a. The construction of homes and infrastructure.
b. The use of firearms and explosives.
c. The placement of military troops and equipment.
d. The establishment of schools and libraries.

3) Why have tensions between China and India increased?

a. Chinese troops attempted to enter India.
b. India detonated a nuclear weapon within China.
c. India assassinated the leader of China.
d. China stopped trading with India.

4) China and India both possess nuclear weapons. (T/F)

5) China has a smaller population than India. (T/F)

6) China represents one of India’s largest trading partners. (T/F)


1) C

2) B

3) A

4) True

5) False

6) True


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Featured Image Credit: Anthony Beck

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