Speaking Of Asia

More than a bloody brawl in the Himalayas

The clash between Chinese and Indian troops that left at least 20 dead comes at a critical time for Xi and Modi

For the past several years, China's President Xi Jinping has been used to being greeted on his birthday by the Indian Prime Minister, Mr Narendra Modi, using his Weibo handle. On Monday, though, Mr Modi's Weibo and Twitter handles were silent towards Mr Xi.

Instead, late that evening, Mr Modi's soldiers were engaged in an almighty brawl lasting hours with Mr Xi's troops, men from the two sides gasping for air in altitudes exceeding 4,000m as they slugged, stoned, slipped and used staves tipped with nails to maim and kill one another.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 19, 2020, with the headline 'More than a bloody brawl in the Himalayas'. Subscribe