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The academic work on nationalist protests in China indicates that we should not expect a massive emotional outpouring from the people against India. Obviously, dead PLA soldiers will be very bad and we should worry about the reaction, but it probably won’t be a massive popular movement. The research shows that conflicts which triggered a very emotional response were incidents with the US and Japan, where there is a historical memory of ‘national humiliation’, feelings of inferiority, need to be superior, and fear of China’s rightful rejuvenation being kept down. There is no such historical baggage with India and I would say that in general Chinese look down on India, so this incident does not trigger the general public’s insecurities. I do not pretend to be able to say anything meaningful about a potential PLA response, however.

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