In recent months, a very old conflict between the Chinese and the people of India has literally heated up in the Himalayas.
Long a bone of contention between the Asian powers, the high mountains between the two was turned into a hot, soupy mess when it is believed the Chinese directed what are known as microwave weapons at the troops of India.
The weapons themselves were developed by we Americans, actually, and work the same way microwave ovens do: by exciting water molecules which heat them to the point of pain and causing nausea and vomiting in the suddenly hot subjects. The Chinese used them in a bid to push back Indian forces.
Jin told his students that within 15 minutes of the weapons being deployed, ‘those occupying the hilltops all began to vomit’.
‘They couldn’t stand up, so they fled. This was how we retook the ground,’ he explained.
Past agreements in this particular conflict call for no gunfire. Such a weapon follows that dictate, but still produces war dead.
India said 20 of its soldiers were killed in the night-time brawl which is thought to have involved up to 900 soldiers, while China acknowledged casualties but did not give figures.
There are reports that the ages-old Indian Chinese conflict is in the negotiation stage of a cool down.
The use of this weapon may well negate that given the hostility demonstrated on the side of the Chinese even as the Indians are cozying up to the superpower wannabe just in case we Americans get any ideas when it comes to them.
Post-mortems showed that the ‘primary reason for death is drowning and it looks like they fell from a height into the water because of head injuries,’ one Indian official said.
That’s going to leave a mark, and it puts any talks on ice for now as both sides seek to disengage from the miles high battleground.
The two sides are now discussing a staggered disengagement from the border area where temperatures have dropped to -18C, Indian officials said.
‘We have a firm plan for disengagement on the table, it is being internally discussed on both sides,’ said one of the officials.
Under the plan that was shared during a meeting of top commanders last Friday, both sides will pull back from the contested Pangong Tso lake area and establish a buffer zone.
Given the history between the two nations, we’ll see how that works out.