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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.

DOJ pressed to enforce Al Jazeera foreign agent ruling

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

The Justice Department is being pressed to enforce its own demand that the U.S. arm of Qatari broadcaster Al Jazeera register as a foreign agent.

Why it matters: The launch of Al Jazeera's new right-of-center U.S. media venture, Rightly, has refocused attention on the media company's alleged links to Doha, and DOJ's efforts to crack down on media outlets viewed as foreign interest mouthpieces.

Poll: Immigration is America's most-polarizing issue

Data: The American Aspirations Index/Populace; Chart: Will Chase/Axios

Immigration was found to be the most polarizing issue in America based on new polling from Populace.

Why it matters: Americans have surprisingly similar priorities for the U.S., but immigration stands out as one of the few issues with clear partisan differences. It underscores the challenge for advocates and lawmakers hoping to pass immigration reform in the coming weeks amid narrow margins in Congress.