In what was the first deadly clash there for at least 45 years, Chinese and Indian troops fought at their disputed Himalayan border.
Reports say the fighting led to the deaths of at least 20 Indian troops and unconfirmed reports in Indian media say at least 40 Chinese soldiers died.
India’s officials said China tried to erect a structure inside Indian territory, while Chinese officials said Indian troops attacked first.
The fighting was reported to be brutal hand-to-hand combat as soldiers brawled with sticks and bats with some falling to their death but no shots were fired.
An Indian government statement said that Chinese troops had tried to put up a structure on the Indian side of the de facto border.
India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi said the Indian deaths “will not be in vain” and that India would be “proud that our soldiers died fighting the Chinese” in the clash.
Addressing the confrontation in a televised address, he said: “India wants peace but when provoked, India is capable of giving a fitting reply, be it any kind of situation.”
An Indian government statement also described this as “premeditated and planned action that was directly responsible for the resulting violence and casualties” and urged China to “take corrective steps”.
Indian media said soldiers engaged in direct hand-to-hand combat, with some “beaten to death” during the fight, and others fell or were pushed into a river.
The Indian forces were apparently massively outnumbered by Chinese troops with the BBC reporting there were 55 Indians versus 300 Chinese.
This is not the first time the two nuclear-armed neighbors have conventionally fought on the border. India and China have a history of face-offs.
China and India had another standoff in 2017, lasting a couple of months, in the nearby Doklam plateau. China won by pressing ahead and building a military base.
But the current attitude from Beijing is a new level of aggressiveness.
China has been moving aggressively at sea, buzzing U.S. naval forces, sinking a Vietnamese fishing boat, damaging a Malaysian oil rig, bringing increasing pressure on Taiwan, creating and militarizing islands in the South China Sea, and also now turning a small island in the Maldives into a base for military air operations.
In the Himalayas it is an attempt by China to pressure India and back them away from the desired overland route of China’s One Belt-One Road initiative.
Which is China’s 21st century silk road, made up of a “belt” of overland corridors and a maritime “road” of shipping lanes by which China is pushing westward toward the Middle East and Europe.
This current conflict is a sign that we will “hear of wars and rumors of wars” (Matthew 24); but it’s also a sign that the “way of the kings from the east” is being prepared “to gather them to the battle of that great day of God Almighty” (Revelation 16:12-14).
These events and conditions happening now are warning signs pointing to the nearing fulfillment of the Last Days prophecies at the end of this age revealing it’s time to prepare now for the nearing appearance of Jesus Christ for His Church by being born again spiritually into the Kingdom of God as Jesus said we must (John 3) and His Apostles who were authorized (Matthew 16:19) described how (Acts 2).
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