It’s a frightening prospect, India and China going to war.
The countries are home to 2.5 billion people, a long and sometimes disputed border — which they’ve fought wars over — and each have nuclear weapons.
And India announced last month it successfully tested the Agni-V missile, which could theoretically deliver a nuke to Beijing, according to CNN.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted the accomplishment “makes every Indian proud.”
But some in China see the test as a provocation. And provocations can make the region less stable, which can lead to hostilities, says Victor Gao, the director of the China National Association of International Studies.
“To contemplate a war, especially involving involving nuclear weapons, against each other is completely ludicrous,” Gao told CNN. “And it’s a misallocation of resources.”
Hua Chunying, a spokeswoman for China’s Foreign Ministry, responded to a question about the missile launch by noting UN Security Council regulations regarding nuclear capable ballistic missiles and stressing that the two countries “are not rivals for competition but partners for cooperation.”
An Indian Foreign Ministry spokesman responded by telling CNN that its “strategic capabilities are not targeted against any particular country,” and that the country abides by its international obligations.
But not everyone shares such a sanguine view of the Sino-Indian relationship.
“Everyone should be interested in and concerned about India’s successful ICBM test, inc(luding) China because it’s within range of this new missile and because it especially of the major Asian countries understands the dangers of nationalism and it’s volatility,” says Yvonne Chiu, a professor of at Hong Kong University.