In Brief

China uses microwave weapons to blast Indian troops in disputed border region

The radiation technology left soldiers vomiting and incapacitated without breaking no-live-shots rule

China got round a no-live-shots agreement during a border stand-off in the Himalayas by deploying microwave weapons to “cook” enemy troops from India, a Beijing-based academic has claimed.

The Chinese military used “high-energy electromagnetic radiation” technology to effectively turn “two strategic hilltops that had been occupied by Indian soldiers into a microwave oven”, The Times reports.

The attack left the Indian troops “vomiting” and unable to stand within 15 minutes, enabling the People’s Liberation Army to “retake two strategically important hilltops in the Himalayas without any exchange of live fire”, according to Jin Canrong, a professor of international relations at China’s Renmin University.

The acadamic told attendees at a recent lecture that China didn’t publicise the victory, in late August, “because we solved the problem beautifully”.

“They [India] didn’t publicise it, either, because they lost so miserably,” he added.

The two sides have been locked in a border dispute in the Ladakh region since April, but have agreed a no-live-shots rule in a bid to avoid a repeat of the bloody 1962 Sino-Indian War.

However, troops from both sides have been killed during increasingly violent hand-to-hand combat, including a clash in June that saw the soldiers battering each other with iron sticks, bats and bamboo sticks studded with nails.

But now China appears to be using more sophisticated weapons, amid an ongoing failure to reach a settlement over the disputed region “despite a series of high-level talks”, says The Sun.

Microwave attacks use “beams of high-frequency electromagnetic radiation to heat the water in a human target’s skin, causing pain and discomfort”, the paper explains. “The weapons are not intended to do any lasting harm, though concerns have been raised about whether they could damage the eyes or have a carcinogenic impact in the long-term.”

The Times says that the US “deployed its own vehicle-mounted microwave weapon, called an Active Denial System, to Afghanistan ten years ago but it was withdrawn, reportedly without being used in combat”.

Similar weapons are suspected to have been used during an attack on US diplomats in the southern Chinese city of Guangzhou in 2018, and during alleged attacks against the US and Canadian embassies in Cuba’s capital Havana dating back to 2016.

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