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A Chinese and an Indian soldier during a ceremony in 2006. Photo: Deshakalyan Chowdhury/AFP via Getty Images

India on Thursday rejected President Trump's offer to mediate what he called a "raging" border dispute with China, saying diplomatic and military channels to China had been engaged to resolve the Himalayan standoff bilaterally.

Where things stand: It's very difficult to tell, given the paucity of information trickling down from the mountains. But reports of Chinese incursions across the Line of Actual Control (LAC), followed by troop reinforcements from both sides, are cause for concern.

  • China had objected to Indian road-building near the disputed border, which the countries fought a war over in 1962.
  • That may be why its troops ventured across the LAC, reportedly digging in with tents and even destroying some Indian guard posts and bridges, per the Economist.
  • Indian and Chinese troops brawled near Pangong Lake (elevation: 14,000 ft.) earlier this month, with some reportedly sent to the hospital but, thankfully, no shots fired.
  • This is far from the first standoff along the border, but it appears to be the most serious since at least 2017.

The big picture: Both countries are in the midst of nationalistic moments as they attempt to define themselves as global powers, but neither government has yet unleashed the full force of nationalistic fervor against the other.

  • That should leave them room to climb down, as long as any future clashes are also waged with fists, and not guns.

Go deeper

Dion Rabouin, author of Markets
Aug 26, 2020 - Economy & Business

China is less than halfway to its "phase 1" trade deal targets

Reproduced from Peterson Institute for International Economics; Chart: Axios Visuals

To satisfy the conditions of the phase one U.S.-China trade deal, China is expected to purchase at least $200 billion more in U.S. exports combined in 2020 and 2021. Data shows that as of July they are more than 50% behind the pace of expected purchases.

By the numbers: So far, China's purchase of covered products was $39.3 billion, compared with a year-to-date target of $83.2 billion, Chad Bown, a fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics, notes.

9 hours ago - Health

Food banks feel the strain without holiday volunteers

People wait in line at Food Bank Community Kitchen on Nov. 25 in New York City. Photo: Michael Loccisano/Getty Images for Food Bank For New York City

America's food banks are sounding the alarm during this unprecedented holiday season.

The big picture: Soup kitchens and charities, usually brimming with holiday volunteers, are getting far less help.

11 hours ago - Health

AstraZeneca CEO: "We need to do an additional study" on COVID vaccine

Photo: Pavlo Gonchar/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

AstraZeneca CEO Pascal Soriot said on Thursday the company is likely to start a new global trial to measure how effective its coronavirus vaccine is, Bloomberg reports.

Why it matters: Following Phase 3 trials, Oxford and AstraZeneca said their vaccine was 90% effective in people who got a half dose followed by a full dose, and 62% effective in people who got two full doses.