How does one affirm claims of territorial sovereignty through a show of force while simultaneously avoiding a nuclear war? A lot of chest bumping, apparently.
A long-standing territorial dispute that has flared up into a minor confrontation between India and China is now in its third week, as both countries continue to pump troops into a border region as a means of provocation and intimidation. Because none of the soldiers are carrying weapons, the border region in question has seen bizarre skirmishes between Indian and Chinese soldiers that looks like a fight you would see at a shopping mall between groups of teenagers.
But as thousands of troops from the world’s two most populous nations stare eye-to-eye as tensions rise, the realities of a war between the nuclear-armed regional powerhouses still remain unlikely. Despite the minimal threat of an actual shooting war breaking out in this scenario, Chinese officials have said that the altercation is the “worst in 30 years.”