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The skirmish between Chinese and Indian troops over a long-disputed border this month is being treated in New Delhi as the country's worst diplomatic crisis in decades even as it is downplayed by Beijing.

China and President Xi Jinping are already locked in diplomatic combat over a host of disputes, from the United States and Australia to Taiwan and Hong Kong, and Beijing's handling of the coronavirus outbreak. China is loath to engage on yet another front — especially one that could push New Delhi closer to Washington, some analysts say.

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