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Deadly India/China Clash by Jan 1, 2024

Flourishing Futures Nuclear Risk Tournament Szilard Fortified Essay Contest


As discussed in a previous Metaculus question:

"The border between India and China has been disputed since at least the 1962 Sino-Indian war. Despite the ceasefire declared by China ending the war the same year and diplomatic efforts to define a border, it seems that the issue is still not settled to both sides’ satisfaction. Over the years, tensions have continued to persist resulting in incidents such as clashes in 1967 and a military standoff in 2017.

[In 2020], tensions have once again flared. Beginning in early May, clashes along the border between Chinese and Indian military forces resulted in some injuries, but no deaths. This changed on the night of June 15th when a deadly brawl broke out in the Galwan Valley near China’s eastern border with India. Each side disagrees about what exactly transpired, but Indian officials report that 20 of their soldiers died, some during the clash and some later after succumbing to their injuries. China has not reported how many of their soldiers died.

One unusual aspect of these clashes is that, so far, no shots have been fired and all deaths and injuries have been the result of fisticuffs, clubs (sometimes embellished with nails and barbed wire), stone-pelting, and falls from cliffs. While India’s Foreign Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar has confirmed that all border troops carry arms, a 1996 agreement between India and China states that: "With a view to preventing dangerous military activities along the line of actual control in the India-China border areas… Neither side shall open fire, cause bio-degradation, use hazardous chemicals, conduct blast operations or hunt with guns or explosives within two kilometres from the line of actual control."

This question adapts that previous question to consider what might happen by 2024 and in any location (not necessarily just near the China-India border).

Will there be a deadly clash between the Indian and Chinese armed forces before 2024?

This question will resolve as Yes if, at any time between June 1, 2021 to January 1, 2024, forces serving the armed forces of India and the armed forces of China have a deadly conflict involving gunfire or explosives, according to credible media reports.

For this question, a gun is used if it is fired, and an explosive is used if it is detonated. Guns do not include weapons that are designed to be less than lethal such as tasers, rubber bullet guns, or bean bag guns. Similarly, explosives do not include weapons that are designed to be less than lethal such as flash bangs.

At least one death must result from the clash. The death need not be caused by the explosive or gunfire.

The military clash can take place in any place or location as long as it involves servicemen enlisted in the armed forces of both China and India.

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