first published on July 10, 2017 by Sean
A festering border dispute between the world’s two most populous nations leads to a bizarre fight between Indian and Chinese armies. A strange game of “king of the hill” ensues, more akin to an ANTIFA protest than a strategic land grab.
Chinese troops and construction workers began building a road in the disputed territory of Doklam a few weeks ago, citing an 1890 treaty with the British as justification. China claims access to the tri-border region, which is technically apart of Bhutan. The narrow Doklam region is strategic to India as it grants access to its vulnerable and hard to reach eastern provinces. India and Bhutan have traditionally close ties with India providing economic and military assistance to Bhutan.
India quickly responded to the incursion by rushing troops to the region. However, the ensuing clashes were not what you might expect. Far from an epic clash of population Goliaths, both sides have been sending unarmed troops who have essentially engaged in organized shoving matches. Looking more like spoiled millennials battling sluggish campus security, the two sides shove, attempt to push through, and restrain each other, before quickly snapping a picture and protesting the laughable assault. The video below highlights one such altercation and the viewer can watch the passive, but amusing exchanges.
If you take a step back, and look at this from a wider lense, it’s probably better that both sides are engaging in this form of harmless hostilities. Border disputes can be a dirty business, lasting for generations in many cases. The two countries posses massive populations, industrial potential, and an actual shooting war between the two could be catastrophic to the entire region. Hopefully for now, this military version of the pillow fight will continue and help prevent a wider, more destructive conflict from occurring.