China and India are clashing over a remote Himalayan territory in a stand-off that could trigger China vs. India war.
In the world so obsessed with the nuclear capability of North Korea, many have missed the fiery confrontation between Beijing and New Delhi in recent days, something that could spark a devastating nuclear war and leave millions dead.
As China holds military drills using live ammunition in Tibet – a clear warning to the Indian soldiers – the two nations enter their worst stand-off in decades. Beijing and New Delhi have sent their soldiers to the remote Doklam plateau, a disputed China-administered area.
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A number of Chinese and Indian soldiers have lined up “eyeball to eyeball” on the disputed territory in an apparent readiness to respond to threats militarily. In the dispute that has been reignited in June, Chinese and Indian troops remain locked on the tri-junction with Bhutan, with many experts in China and India warning that the chance of military confrontations is higher than ever.
China vs. India War Would Be the Most Devastating War For 2.6 Billion People
It was China’s construction of a new road on the disputed plateau that has infuriated the Indians. Beijing believes New Delhi sent its troops to Bhutan, their tiny mountain neighbor, to prevent the road’s construction. The road was supposed to give the Chinese easier access to the disputed plateau.
The road’s construction was launched close to the chicken neck at the so-called “tri junction” where China’s frontier connects to both India and Bhutan, where Beijing believes India has its troops stationed in the neighboring kingdom to prevent the Chinese from building the road. Bhutan has a small army of its own and India is its key military ally.
China urges India to withdraw its troops from Bhutan to prevent Indian soldiers from being close to the Chinese-controlled territory. The 400km long has been the subject of many conflicts between Beijing and New Delhi throughout the past many decades, but the current situation raises serious concerns of a China vs. India war.
A war between China and India – the world’s two most populous countries with more than 2.6 billion people combined – would most likely become the most devastating war in history. China’s nuclear arsenal accounts for more than 250 warheads, while its enemy has more than 100 nuclear missiles.
En Route to China vs. India War, as Beijing Links Arms with Pakistan
India’s alleged move to send its troops to Bhutan – caused by New Delhi’s concerns over China’s increasing regional hegemony – comes as Beijing expands its influence across the India subcontinent. Besides the most painful for India China’s alliance with Pakistan, Beijing has also linked arms with Bangladesh and Sri Lanka via pouring in a mammoth amount of money into infrastructure projects.
China is still facing a great amount of international criticism and pressure due to its actions in an un-related but similarly territory-ambitious crisis in South China Sea, where multiple nations are challenging Beijing for building artificial islands in the disputed area. But China is apparently ready to fend off external pressure on both fronts, as the Chinese government was most likely aware that the construction of a road through the disputed plateau with India would risk a conflict and even China vs. India war.
The chicken neck, which serves as India’s only direct link to its isolated north east, has been of great interest to China for decades. But China, which is directly to the north, launching the road’s construction is its first most provocative move in the disputed in a while. The road’s construction and the apparent build-up of Indian troops near the disputed plateau has been followed by China’s military drills in Tibet.
Chinese Army Can ‘Easily Overpower’ Indian Army
The military exercise involving fully-equipped Chinese soldiers has showcased the country’s prowess in rapid movement of troops, use of digital devices and combined attacks by multiple forces on the 5,000m high plateau, something that many Indian and Chinese experts interpreted as Beijing sending a clear warning to India as the devastating and bloody prospect of China vs. India war hovers over the Indian subcontinent.
In a video shown on Chinese state-run TV channels, the country’s soldiers were seen attacking “enemy positions” with machine guns, rocket launchers and mortars, demonstrating the premium prowess of China’s army. The Chinese were also seen using radars to target “enemy planes,” a supposedly clear hint to the Indians that China can easily take down Indian aircraft in case of China vs. India war over the disputed Doklam plateau.
While the official press office of the Chinese military has not given the precise location of where the military drills were held over the weekend, India was surely watching the exercise closely via TV. A Chinese military commentator cited by the South China Morning Post said the military exercise was meant to “demonstrate it [the Chinese army] could easily overpower its Indian counterparts.”
China: First the Road, Second a Military Base in Pakistan?
From the looks of it, India seems better prepared for a military confrontation on the border than China, as New Delhi has nearly 200,000 troops stationed on the disputed territories, outnumbering Beijing’s number of troops by up to 20 to one.
However, China’s army is one of the biggest mysteries in the world nowadays, which means no international observer can be certain how many troops the Chinese actually have along the border with India. Besides, Beijing has a prominent military edge over India in terms of speed of troops movement, logistics as well as overall army prowess.
If the current conflict between New Delhi and Beijing spiraled to China vs. India war, it would not be the first border war between the two nuclear nations. In 1962, the Chinese and Indian soldiers picked up weapons to fight along the border. Today’s war would be much more devastating and dangerous not only for the Indian subcontinent, but also for the entire planet in general.
China constructing the road – seen by Indian as its enemy asserting sovereignty – is only the latest indication of Beijing’s immerse territory-hungry, influence-expanding appetite. Just recently, China has built its first foreign military base in the African nation of Djibouti, while the international community and the media cannot seem to abandon their fears that the Chinese might also build a military base in Pakistan, the biggest enemy of India.