Chinese Marines train to fight with bayonets on June 9 in Shandong, China. GETTY IMAGES
By: Michael Peck
Is the standoff between China and India going to escalate soon? Probably! Is the standoff between China and India going to escalate soon? Probably!
Four days ago I published the above blog about the possible use of medievel weapons by the Chinese in the ongoing standoff between China and India. Later that day, Forbes published this article along the same lines. While a somewhat “Tongue-In-Cheek” article talking about the use of medievel weapons, it does miss the mark about the “environmental conditions” that would make modern weaponry somewhat useless in the areas concerned. If nothing else, the Korean Conflict of the 50’s proved the limits of modern weaponry in extreme cold and only idiots would not take those lessons to heart – and I don’t think the Chinese or Indian commanders are that stupid. Tanks, jets, artillery, assault rifles and missle launchers are great, but only if they work.
Mr. Peck does make some good points in his article and gives the reader the basic on WHY the use of modern weaponry is forbidden by treaty in the contested area –
“Why does the People’s Liberation Army resemble a Society for Creative Anachronism joust, or live-action Dungeons & Dragons players? There’s actually a very practical reason. A 1996 agreement regarding the disputed border – known as the Line of Actual Control, or LAC – states that “neither side shall open fire or hunt with guns or explosives within two kilometers [1.3 miles] from the line of actual control.” China and India have skirmished for years – and even fought a war in 1962 — along the 2,500-mile LAC, a loosely defined border that comprises some of the harshest terrain on Earth, including the Himalaya mountains.”
“Which suggests that the firearms-free border zone will continue for now, though that doesn’t mean violence-free. China is now recruiting mixed martial artists for the army, while India has sent commandos trained in martial arts to the Tibetan border.”
An interesting question will be how India responds to China’s medieval arsenal. India has a rich history of edged weapons, including the famous kukri knife wielded by Gurkha soldiers, the curved talwar sword, and the chakkar, a sharp throwing ring capable of beheading enemies (on the popular TV show Xena: Princess Warrior, Xena uses a similar weapon called the chakram).
– he does seem try and make it a “light-hearted” reason there won’t be a conflict – “Who would use medievel weapons today” seems to be his thought pattern. He does mention the historical context in which both countries have a history of edged weapons, but, again, in today’s world?
Again, environmental issues dictate what can be used in conflicts and that cannot be forgotten. Both sides have built up the infrastructure, troop strengths and such throughout the area and disengagement at this stage is possible, but I’m not holding my breath
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