World War 3: China attacks India over ‘deliberate provocation’ deadly border clash

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The hand-to-hand fighting left 20 Indian soldiers dead whilst the number of Chinese casualties is disputed. An additional 10 Indian troops were captured by their Chinese counterparts and later released on June 18.

Reports by the Indian military indicate China suffered 43 casualties though this has not been confirmed by Beijing.

A US intelligence report suggested 35 Chinese soldiers were killed in the violence.

Both China and India insist the violence took place on their side of the ‘Line of Actual Control’, the de facto border between the two countries.

China and India have a long running border dispute which has its origins in the contested boundary of British colonial India.

Zhao Lijian, a Chinese foreign ministry spokesman, claimed Indian troops had staged a “deliberate provocation” by crossing into Chinese territory and attacking soldiers who were there for negotiations.

He also alleged Indian nationals have been unilaterally constructing roads and bridges in the Galwan Valley which he insisted was Chinese territory.

However the allegation was countered by Indian foreign ministry spokesman Anurag Srivastava who said Beijing’s claims were “not acceptable” and denied Indian forces entered Chinese territory.

As firearms are banned from the border zone the fighting took place with iron rods, rocks and clubs.

READ MORE: Modi to face opposition after the death of 20 Indian soldiers

According to The Guardian it involved up to 600 soldiers in total and went on for six hours.

The Indian military alleges Chinese troops embedded nails into wooden clubs, or wrapped them with barbed wire, to make the weapons more effective.

Three of the Indian soldiers were killed during the fighting with another 17 dying later from their injuries or exposure.

Some of those who died reportedly fell or were pushed off the high ground then drowned in a freezing river below.


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China and India fought a short but brutal war in 1962 over their contested territories which left 2,000 dead.

Fighting stopped when the two sides agreed a ceasefire but tension has always remained.

According to the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) both China and India have been building up their forces along the border since the clash.

In a statement the IISS said: “There is credible evidence to suggest that both China and India have significantly reinforced their positions on their respective sides of the de facto border.”

Angry protests broke out across India after the violence with demonstrators burning Chinese flags and images of Chinese President Xi Jinping.

China is also locked in territorial disputes with a number of its other neighbours.

It’s claim in the South China Sea overlaps with those of five other countries whilst Beijing considers Taiwan an integral part of China and has threatened military action.

Beijing has also announced new security laws which will strip away much of Hong Kong’s autonomy.

Beijing has also announced new security laws which will strip away much of Hong Kong’s autonomy.

The Chinese government had pledged to respect Hong Kong’s separate and more democratic structure under the ‘one country, two systems’ agreement when it was handed over by Britain.

In response the UK Government has indicated Hong Kong residents who hold a British National Overseas Passport, which all those born before 1997 who chose to register were eligible for, will be allowed to stay in Britain for longer with a pathway to citizenship provided.

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