Indian Boxer Offers Belt in Return for Peace With China

Indian and Chinese boxers squared off in the midst of a territorial dispute
By Josh Rosenblatt,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 6, 2017 10:10 AM CDT
Indian Boxer Offers Belt in Return for Peace With China
Vijender Singh, right, and Zulpikar Maimaitiali at the official weigh-in in Mumbai, India, Friday, Aug. 4.   (AP Photo/Rafiq Maqbool)

A boxing ring may be a place of violence, but on Saturday night Indian champion Vijender Singh used one to make a plea for peace. Singh, a former Olympian and current WBO Asia Pacific super middleweight champion, defeated Zulpikar Maimaitiali of China to become the new WBO Oriental super middleweight champion, the Guardian reports. After the fight, though, Singh offered to give his new belt back to Maimaitiali as a gesture of peace between the fighters' two countries, which are currently locked in a territorial dispute in the Himalayas. “I don’t want tension on the border," Singh told the crowd in Mumbai. "It’s a message of peace."

The dispute between the world's most-populated countries began in June when the small kingdom of Bhutan, a close ally of India's, discovered Chinese workers extending an unpaved mountain road in a 34-square-mile area where the three countries meet, the New York Times reports. India responded by sending troops and equipment to halt construction, which led to the Chinese government accusing India of infringing on its territory. Troops from the two nuclear nations are now in a standoff just hundreds of feet from one another. On Thursday the Chinese military issued a warning to India that it should not "underestimate the determination and will of the Chinese military to safeguard national sovereignty, security and development interests.” (More China stories.)

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