Amid a Pandemic, China Picks a Border Fight With India

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from The Wall Street Journal,

Are China and India about to start a war in the Himalayas? If historical precedent holds, the continuing standoff involving thousands of troops in multiple places along the contested 2,200-mile boundary likely won’t escalate to armed combat. But one thing is clear: Ties between the world’s two most populous nations are fraying rapidly.

Today’s tensions are the most serious since the Doklam crisis, a 10-week confrontation in 2017 that involved Indian troops intervening to prevent the People’s Liberation Army from building a road on land claimed by both Bhutan and China. Though the precise details of the current face-off remain unknown—experts must parse the tea leaves from official statements, leaks and commercial satellite imagery—media reports from India suggest that thousands of Chinese troops have pitched around 100 tents in territory that India regards as its own. Chinese and Indian soldiers have also reportedly fought using iron rods, an escalation from the pushing and shoving that more commonly marks their encounters.

A war may be unlikely, but by throwing its weight around, Beijing is making enemies needlessly

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