Reports of Chinese commander killed in clashes, people ask if World War 3 coming soon

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The commanding officer of the Chinese unit involved in the India-China clashes was one of the people killed in the Galwan Valley, according to a local Indian media report citing an unnamed source.

However, AFP reports that Beijing's state media played down the deadly border confrontation between troops from both countries and did not reveal casualties on the Chinese side even as social media users urged retaliation.

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On Tuesday, the Indian army said that 20 of its soldiers were killed in a “violent face-off” along the Himalayan frontier on Monday, which resulted in “casualties on both sides,” according to AFP.

China's defense ministry confirmed late Tuesday that there had been casualties, without giving a number, while state media stayed relatively quiet on the subject.

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Brawls reportedly erupt regularly between soldiers from the world's two most populous nations across their disputed 3,500-kilometre (2,200-mile) border -- but there weren’t any fatal confrontations since 1975, according to AFP.

The Chinese nationalist tabloid Global Times reported the number of deaths on the Indian side but said China had not released information about casualties.

Meanwhile, state broadcaster CCTV and the Communist Party-owned People's Daily republished the Chinese military's official statement on social media, without any additional reports.

CCTV's widely watched daily Xinwen Lianbo evening news broadcast made no mention of the border confrontation on Tuesday.

The foreign ministry's official transcripts of its Tuesday press briefing redacted remarks from its spokesman about the clashes.

The Global Times said in an editorial that China did not disclose the death toll of the confrontation “to avoid comparing and preventing confrontational sentiments from escalating.”

“China does not want to turn border issues with India into a confrontation," the editorial said, blaming India for "arrogance and recklessness.”

But users on Weibo, China's Twitter-like social platform, were baying for blood.

“If we don't beat India to death, this kind of provocation will never end,” one user wrote.

“Read from foreign media reports that 5 People's Liberation Army soldiers died. I'm so angry that my blood is rushing to my head,” another said.

Meanwhile, social media users were wondering if this is the start of World War Three as others unaware of the situation questioned why the term was trending on Twitter.

Twitter user Udit Dalai asked, “World War 3 between India and China?”

Another Twitter user shared a gif captioned: “Me thinking 2020 can’t get any worse then checking Twitter to see China/India gearing up for World War 3 #WW3 #IndiaChinaFaceOff.”

One person took the time to explain why #WorldWar3 was trending in the first place. User “Emma” said “in case y’all wondering why world war 3 [is] trending. China and India are going at it over a border dispute.”

- With AFP

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