Microwaves use electromagnetic waves that create an up and down pattern of magnetism and electricity which propel through the air inside of the oven at the speed of light, or 186,000 miles per second if you prefer.
Sound dangerous? When used properly for their intended purpose they’re perfectly safe. The strong metal casing prevents the escape of any harmful electrical or magnetic impulses, and the oven will not operate with the door open.
But if this same principle was applied for the more devious purpose of doing harm, it would certainly be more than up to the task. Well, the Chinese have proven this to be more than just a theory.
India and China have long disputed territorial claims to areas bordering both countries. Earlier this year fighting broke out in the form of hand-to-hand combat in the Galwan River valley region. For certain, 20 of India’s soldiers were killed, but the casualty rate for the Chinese was not reported and remains unknown.
A professor of international relations at Beijing’s Renmin University, Jin Canrong, said China retaliated by attempting to take the southern bank of the Pangong Tso Lake in the region of Ladakh.
Jin said the Chinese used a weapon mounted on a vehicle at the base of the hill leading to the lake that “turned the mountain tops into a microwave oven.” He said that “In 15 minutes, those occupying the hilltops all began to vomit. They couldn’t stand up, so they fled. This was how we retook the ground.”
The weapon used microwave technology that aimed massive amounts of the harmful rays straight at the Indian troops. Using this method, the Chinese were easily able to overtake the entire area.
The beams of high-frequency electromagnetic radiation used in microwave weapons are designed to infiltrate a person’s skin causing their blood to boil, much in the same way a home microwave oven boils water. The pain and discomfort are said to be unbearable.
The weapon was developed due to an existing treaty between the two nations prohibiting the use of gunfire, which accounts for the earlier hand-to-hand combat scuffle.
China claims their weapon doesn’t do any lasting harm although the long-term effects have never been studied. Concern has been raised about its effect on the eyes, or perhaps it’s having a long-term carcinogenic impact.
While it is believed that other nations have developed, or at least shown an interest in this type of weapon, the Chinese, as one would expect, were the first to try one on for size.
Jin went on to comment, “We didn’t publicize it because we solved the problem beautifully. They [India] didn’t publicize it either, because they lost so miserably.” India was embarrassed by having to so quickly high tail it out of the area, and at the time, having no idea why they were suddenly heaving and falling or even what they were running from.
No disputes between the two sides have been settled, but at least for the time being they are still agreeing to not shoot one another. Each side accuses the other of building infrastructure and such in disputed territory, but neither side wishes to see a heated escalation.
India’s Tibetan soldiers are highly skilled mountain climbers. Because of their mountain goat-like abilities, they were able to seize two hilltops earlier this year. Chinese Generals were under an incredible amount of pressure to take them back.
“These two hilltops are very important but we’d lost them,” Jin said. “The central military commission was quite furious. ‘How could you be so careless as to let India seize the hilltops?’ So it ordered the ground be taken back, but it also demanded that no single shot be fired.” And so it was.