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Chinese President Xi Jinping, left, has stayed relatively quiet about the June border skirmish. Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has said that the country is "capable of giving an appropriate response," if instigated. (Nikkei Montage/AP/Reuters) 
China up close

Xi takes China back 40 years with India scuffle

Willingness to engage in combat signals break from peaceful rise

KATSUJI NAKAZAWA, Nikkei senior staff writer | China

TOKYO -- The clash that erupted between Chinese and Indian forces in the northern Indian region of Ladakh on June 15 resulted in the first casualties suffered between the Asian neighbors in 45 years.

The reported details of the battle are quite bizarre. At an altitude of 4,000 meters, in freezing temperatures, the troops engaged in a physical fight; no firearms were used.

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