Video frame grab taken from footage of a clash between Indians and Chinese

In the region of Aksai Chin, located on the border between China and India, there has been an ongoing border dispute that dates back to the mid-20th century, along the Line of Actual Control.”

Interestingly enough, the recent conflicts between these two giants have a unique character: instead of employing heavy artillery, tanks, and fighter jets, the confrontations now mainly involve rocks, fists, and clubs.

Why are guns prohibited in the Line of Actual Control?

For more than 25 years, troops on both sides have adhered to long-standing protocols to avoid the use of any firearms along the de facto border known as the Line of Actual Control.

In 1996, with the goal of preventing dangerous military activities, China and India established rules that regulated their troops’ conduct along the Line.

Neither side shall open fire, cause bio-degradation, use hazardous chemicals, conduct blast operations or hunt with guns or explosives within two kilometers from the line of actual control.

This provision resulted in a practice where neither side even brandishes firearms. Hence, videos emerged showing soldiers on both sides engaged in jostling, pushing, and shoving.

The June 2020 Clash

In June 2020, Chinese and Indian troops engaged for hours in hand-to-hand combat reminiscent to a medieval battle. Chinese soldiers were throwing rocks and using “clubs embedded with nails and wrapped in barbed wire,” as reported by The Wall Street Journal. At the same time, Indian troops outfitted themselves with iron rods and batons.

During this incident, at least 20 Indian troops lost their lives, with up to 17 succumbing to exposure to the harsh elements, and another 76 sustained injuries. On the Chinese side, there were at least 4 casualties, and an unknown number of soldiers were injured. Several of the fatalities resulted from being pushed or falling from cliffs into the Galwan River.

Indian state media later suggested the fighting was premeditated, and that China had sent “mountain climbers and martial arts experts” to reinforce the troops at the border.

Please note that the videos below, showing the actual conflict, are age-restricted but don’t depict severe acts of violence. They can be watched normally on YouTube.

Another low-resolution video appears to show Chinese and Indian troops using their fists and sticks in a battle along their disputed border, possibly in the Galwan Valley back in 2020.

The idea (and several sources) about this post came from Johnny Harris’ latest video on “Why Everyone’s Mad About China’s New Map“.

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