China may have deployed a “microwave” weapon to repel Indian soldiers in a border dispute, if a Chinese professor and official is to be believed.
In a video, Jin Canrong, a professor at Renmin University of China and policy advisor to China’s National People’s Congress, was seen boasting to his students about using an “innovative tactic” in the ongoing border dispute around Pangong Lake in the Himalayan region.
Jin described an incident where Indian soldiers had seized a hilltop by Pangong Lake that blocked Chinese troops movement between two of its bases.
“Have to get it back, but the order is to not fire a bullet. How do you get it back without firing guns? It’s very difficult,” Jin said. To de-escalate the border tension, China and India had agreed to not resort to firearms in any altercations. “So they came up with an innovative tactic. After talking to other regiments, they found a way, to use a microwave weapon. Place the microwave at the foot of the hill, turn the hilltop into a microwave oven.”
“It only took 15 minutes, everybody on the hill started to vomit. They couldn’t stand, so they retreated. That’s how they got it back,” Jin chuckled.
China unveiled an electromagnetic weapon code named Poly WB-1 in 2014. It purportedly operated in principal similar to that of the kitchen appliance. Within a range of 0.6 miles, the weapon could heat water molecules under the skin.
If Jin’s account is confirmed, it would be the first time such a weapon is deployed in combat.
The US government has a similar device, which it calls the Active Denial System. The Pentagon describes it as a “non-lethal, directed-energy, counter-personnel system with an extended range greater than currently fielded non-lethal weapons”. Its intended use includes “crowd control, crowd dispersal, convoy and patrol protection, checkpoint security, perimeter security.”
The US version was unveiled in 2007 and deployed to Afghanistan. There was no indication it was ever used against hostile troops.
In June, a skirmish broke out between the China and India at Pangong Lake. Up to 900 soldiers were involved in a night-time brawl using rocks and clubs. 20 Indian soldiers died of drowning when they were knocked into the lake from a height. China acknowledge casualties on its side but did not disclose figures.
As the video makes its rounds on social media, netizens began to suspect whether US diplomatic personnel were also victims of a microwave attack.
China may have used microwave weapon before
In 2016, US diplomatic personnel in China and Cuba fell ill under mysterious circumstances. Chinese dissident Gan Xiaobin also reported that he was the victim of a high-energy-wave weapon.
Gan reported feeling abnormal in mid-February 2013, with symptoms of headache, dull pain near the heart, fatigue and weakness. He looked around the house for the cause of his discomfort and discovered “abnormally high tap water temperature in my house. I checked the electricity meter outside my neighbor’s house and found that one of my neighbors was using an abnormal amount of electricity.”
“I had to pull the electric gate outside my neighbor’s house, but the neighbor would reconnect it and I would feel sick again… Finally, I had to break my neighbor’s electric gate. I think there is a strong electromagnetic directional transmitter within three meters from where I sleep, and the tap water in the house, which is just across the wall from where I sleep in the east room, is warmed by strong electromagnetic radiation,” wrote Gan in his blog.
Indian army dismisses claim
On Nov. 17, India dismissed the microwave weapon claim, calling it “fake news”.
Indian army officials stated its soldiers remain in control of the high ground in the disputed border region, and that Beijing was seeding “fake news” about its military capability: “It’s pure and poor psyops from China.”