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The Chinese Government has warned it is ready for a “large-scale military conflict” with India in a stark message published by state media. Tensions have soared between the two nations following brutal clashes at the disputed border last week – which saw more than 50 military personnel killed.
Beijing has continued to taunt Dehli and warned any conflict will result in a “rout” and likened any potential battle to the brief war in 1962.
Almost 60 years ago, more than 2,000 people were killed in the deadliest battle between the two nations.
In an article published in The Global Times – which is operated by the ruling Communist Party of China – Beijing warns the death toll will be “unfavourable to India” and the nation would suffer economic damage.
The article states: “Chinese military observers said that an escalated, large-scale military conflict involving main Chinese troops, if that were to happen, would mean a rout just like the war in 1962, with very disproportionate casualty figures unfavourable to India.
“In a potential self-defence counter-attack, China will secure its own territory and not likely claim Indian territory after emerging victorious, but the battle will deeply hurt India so much that global position and economy would go backwards to decades ago.”
Last Monday Indian and Chinese soldiers fought with rocks, metal rods and wooden clubs at the disputed Galwan Valley after a weeks-long standoff.
Prior arrangements meant neither side carried guns at the contested Himalayan border, however up to 500 soldiers were involved in the brutal skirmishes India officials confirmed 20 of its soldiers were killed in the bloody clash.
China has not disclosed how many casualties it suffered, though an Indian minister has said around 40 Chinese soldiers may have been killed.
The Galwan River is located around 25 miles from The Line of Actual Control (LAC) – the de facto border between India and China.
China has laid claim to the entire Galwan Valley, insisting the whole area is located on their side of the LAC.
Foreign ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said: “Right and wrong is very clear and the responsibility entirely lies with the Indian side.”
Meanwhile, India has dismissed China’s claim over the valley as “exaggerated” and “untenable”.
Expert, Professor Joseph M Siracusa from the School of Global, Urban and Social Studies, has warned the dispute could boil over into nuclear warfare.
Professor Siracusa, from RMIT University, formerly known as Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology said: “In 1962, all these people were going at each other, but they didn‘t have nuclear weapons.
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“Today, all the players in South Asia have nuclear weapons.
“In exchange of 10 or 15 missiles there are warheads, which would induce the ‘nuclear winter’ that Carl Sagan predicted in the 1980s.
“There could be all kinds of hell to pay for that.
“Will they use nuclear weapons for a border dispute? Not because they want to, but because it might escalate or accidentally move into that area.”
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