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India—China border dispute turns deadly for first time since 1975

Chinese and Indian forces fighting on the Himalayan border have spilt blood for the first time in more than 40 years.

At least 20 people have died in clashes on the contested border.

The bloodshed is the first since 1975 and the dispute is the worst since 1967.

Professor in Human Security and Diplomacy at RMIT University, Joe Siracusa, said there are two things about this clash that are important and could have consequences outside of the region.

Firstly, both India and China are nuclear powers.

“These things could get out of control,” Professor Siracusa told Tom Elliott.

“We don’t know what might happen next because neither India nor China has a playbook we can read … we don’t know what the rules are.”

Secondly, relations between the two countries are highly likely to change as a result of the conflict.

“Sino-Indian relations are not going to go back to the old normal,” Professor Siracusa said.

“There’s this increased competitiveness that’s going on in that region.

“There is a new edge to Chinese foreign policy where they seem to care less and less about solving problems in conventional ways and are showing their real hand, and their real hand is an iron fist.”

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Image: Nur Photo / Getty