Hong Kong (CNN)China and India's latest border dispute may have mainly involved scuffles and troop maneuvers on the ground, but it has been all-out war in the respective countries' media.
The border spat between India and China is turning into an all-out media war
Tensions have been growing in the Himalayas along one of the world's longest land borders, with New Delhi and Beijing both accusing the other of overstepping the Line of Actual Control (LAC) that separates the two. The territory has long been disputed, erupting into numerous minor conflicts and diplomatic spats since a bloody war between the countries in 1962.
On Saturday, military leaders met at the border to "peacefully resolve the situation in the border areas," according to a statement from India's foreign ministry. Even today, just what occurred on the ground in the highly militarized region remains unclear -- in part because the main body of this distinctly 21st-century conflict has so far mostly played out through propaganda, strategic leaks and aggressive posturing in the media.
Ahead of Saturday's meeting, Chinese broadcasters aired footage of People's Liberation Army (PLA) maneuvers in the region -- complete with planes and trucks full of troops -- in what state media described as "demonstrating China's capability of quickly reinforcing border defenses when necessary." Unconfirmed -- and in some cases, debunked -- videos have also circulated on both Chinese and Indian social media purporting to show troop incursions and scuffles between soldiers.
Writing in India's Hindustan Times, strategic affairs analyst Shishir Gupta said Sunday that Chinese reports on PLA maneuvers were part of a "disinformation campaign" designed to sap Indian resolve, and "overwhelm the enemy into panic so that his capacity to negotiate is weakened."