World War 3: Chilling warning as India and China prepared for all out war
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Relations between the nuclear-armed China and India have hit a multi-decade low since clashes at their western Himalayan border in June killed 20 Indian soldiers. Both sides have since stepped up monitoring of their largely unsettled 3,488 km (2167 mile) border.
Lt. General D.S. Hooda, who was head of the Indian military’s Northern Command from 2014 to 2016, said that the standoff was extremely dangerous.
He told AP: “The situation is very dangerous on the ground and can spiral out of control.
“A lot will depend on whether the two sides are able to control the volatile situation and make sure it doesn’t spread to other areas.”
But Wang Lian, professor of international relations at Peking University in Beijing claimed the possibility of open warfare was unlikely because both sides have shown restraint in recent encounters.
He added: “I don’t think (India) would go so far as to escalate military conflict of a larger scale, but I believe both sides are making some preparations.”
The Indian Army today asked its Chinese counterpart if five Indian civilians who went missing from an eastern border state days ago were in their custody, while tension remains high on the western frontier between the rivals.
The five missing men are from the Indian state of Arunachal Pradesh, which is also claimed by China who calls it South Tibet.
Lt Colonel Harsh Wardhan Pande and Indian defence ministry spokesman, said: “We spoke with them on the hotline and told them that it’s suspected some people have crossed across to your side and we will be grateful if you could hand them over back, as per what we do normally.
“There is no earmarked line going through the forest or the mountains, so they keep moving here and there. So they might have gone there, it’s a very normal thing.”
Colonel Pande stressed they were yet to hear back from the Chinese.
Separately, a Tibetan member of an Indian special forces unit who died days ago in a mine blast near the site of a border flare-up with Chinese troops in the western Himalayas was cremated on Monday.
His death has provided a rare glimpse into a little-known group of elite, high-altitude warriors drawn mainly from Tibetan refugees living in India.
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It comes after the two nuclear Asian giants held several rounds of talks, mainly involving military commanders, without success.
Their defence ministers met in the Russian capital on Friday to try to end the boiling impasse.
It was the first high-level direct contact between the sides since the standoff erupted in the Ladakh region four months ago.
India and China share the disputed border which is known as the Line of Actual Control and it stretches from the Ladakh region in the north to the Indian state of Sikkim.
The two nations fought a border war in 1962 that also spilled into Ladakh and ended in a fragile truce.
Since the war, troops from both countries have patrolled and guarded the undefined border area.
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