The killing of 20 Indian soldiers by Chinese troops in Galwan valley, on a scale altogether different from past skirmishes along the line of actual control (LAC), should settle the debate about whether this is a different, more militaristic China we are dealing with now than in the recent past.

The signs are all evident. Beijing is turning up the heat with most of its neighbours — including Vietnam, the Philippines, Malaysia and Taiwan — even as it revokes Hong Kong’s autonomy. Before the killings of the jawans, Beijing asked its citizens to leave India. Thus this is no longer about “different perceptions of the LAC”, a formula often used to explain past skirmishes between Indian and Chinese soldiers...

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