Tension between India-China along the border took an alarming turn on Tuesday after Chinese and Indian officials accused each other’s soldiers of firing warning shots, it’s a major incident in 45 years, apparently the first time in decades that guns had been aggressively used along the disputed frontier.
But according to a statement from the Chinese military, Indian troops on Monday “took the outrageous step of firing warning shots” near a Chinese border patrol. India’s actions, the Chinese said, were “a grave military provocation of a vile character.”
Indian officials denied any such incidents and said that it’s the Chinese who broke the law of not using guns in the border areas.
Chinese soldiers “fired a few rounds in the air in an attempt to intimidate” Indian troops, the Indian military said in a statement. “Despite the grave provocation,” the statement said, Indian troops “exercised great restraint and behaved in a mature and responsible manner.”
One thing is clear: The dispute that has been building on the Himalayan border that separates the two nuclear-armed powers is only sharpening as their broader relationship steadily deteriorates.
Both sides have rushed in tens of thousands of reinforcements, backed by artillery, tanks and fighter jets. In India, the clashes have sparked a wave of nationalism and further turned the public against China, with street protests and boycotts of Chinese-made goods.