Borders and Bombs

China shares a border with 14 countries. From what I can gather, the US has used military force in at least nine of these.

  • Afghanistan,  1998, 2001-
  • Bhutan
  • Democratic People’s Republic of  Korea (DPRK),  1950-1953
  • India, 1942-1945 (1)
  • Kazakhstan
  • Kyrgyzstan
  • Laos, 1962-75
  • Mongolia
  • Myanmar, 1942-1945 (1)
  • Nepal
  • Pakistan, 2004-
  • Russia, 1918-20, 1920-22
  • Tajikistan, 2001 (2)
  • Vietnam, 1955-75

I’m not arguing whether the use of force was necessary or not. It’s just that I’ve not seen a discussion regarding this before.

The first note references the China Burma India Theatre. Regardless of the intentions or the evil which was being fought, I think it can still be shown that all three countries were in part devastated by the US presence.

The second note references a border bombing that took place in 2001. Given the nature of the war, I’d be willing to bet that there have been other incursions into Tajikistan.

The main information regarding US military actions comes from this Wikipedia article.

The list of countries that share a border with China came from this article.

In a later post, I’ll give an overview of the almost 30 times that the US has used military force against China itself.

Oh, btw, here is an interesting little article regarding US involvement in the 1971 war between India and Pakistan.


  1. Agreed. I am gratified to see it happen during my lifetime in Ireland.

    btw, until I was well into my 41st year, I’d not considered visiting China… let alone living here. Now I’m planning a trip of over a month to India… something that I hadn’t considered until this year.

    1. If you are planning a trip to India, you may want to see some of Tom Carter’s photos of India that he took for his next book “India: Portrait of a People”. Carter spent several months in India traveling from province to province. He told me that it was easier to travel in China because in India crossing from one province to another is like crossing from one country to another. Before Carter can finish this book, he must return to India but India limits visits by foreigners and the time one may stay is limited too–more restrictive than China (he says).

      Tom Carter is also married to a mainland Chinese woman and they live in Shanghai. His first book was “China: Portrait of a People”

  2. It will be difficult for the leopard to change its spots. Imagine the odds of a devout, born-again evangelical Christian suddenly becoming an atheist. It takes time, sometimes years and decades for change of this sort to take place.

    1. A lot to read through, but I agree in principle. I’ve often times compared what we’ve done with Hawai’i to what we accuse the Chinese of doing to Tibet… besides Hawai’i becoming a state and the Tibetan uprising both occurring in 1959, I think there are also many other references points.

      I’m currently working on a post called “28 to Zero” which details the times that US has used ground troops in mainland China, and compares it to the times that China has done the same in the US.

      btw, I have friends who were in the square just prior to the military moving in. I take issue with how it is described in the western media… and how little attention is played to what was happening around the country at the same time.

      I do think that the government here, however, has hurt themselves by trying to moderate discussion of it.

      1. I suspect the attempt to moderate the discussion of any sensitive political issue in China has more to do with Chinese culture then it has to do with today’s Chinese Communist Party.

        My wife is Chinese. She was born in Shanghai and lived through the Cultural Revolution. Was even sent to a labor camp for three years. She came to the US in the mid 1980s on a student Visa and earned the right to citizenship.

        So, I have been surrounded by her family (she has two sisters and a brother who are all married to other Chinese) in addition to aunts, uncles, friends, etc, and I have observed that the behavior of the CCP is similar to the dynamic behavior of a mainland Chinese family.

        Even the Taiwanese Chinese exhibit some of the same behaviors.

      2. Agreed. (btw, my wife is also Chinese. 🙂 )

        I do see this as part of Asian culture. And, one that most Western diplomats just don’t seem to understand.

        But, I do think some openness from the government here would help to combat the untruths that have been spread about 1989.

Comments are closed.