India cannot deter China from its coercion, intimidation and offensive military action along the LAC due to the military and economic power asymmetry. China’s comprehensive national power is seven times more than India’s. Its GDP is $15.5 trillion compared to India’s $2.9 trillion.
China has the second largest economy. It is the world’s largest investor, spends three times more than India on defence and has the world’s second most powerful armed force, including the biggest navy.
By not defining the LAC, China can indulge in salami-slicing. Its latest foray in east Ladakh has yielded around 800 sq km of territory and altered the LAC more or less, according to its 1959 alignment of LAC.
The power differential includes the huge infrastructure disparity in Tibet and Xinjiang compared with India. During the first military standoff at Sumdorong Chu in 1988, India and China were roughly on a par with each other in different power indices and India was emerging as a regional military power.