Home > Archives (2006 on) > 2012 > Background to the Chinese Invasion

Mainstream, VOL L No 44, October 20, 2012

Background to the Chinese Invasion

Wednesday 24 October 2012

DOCUMENT

The following is a factual background to the large-scale Chinese invasion that took place in September-October 1962. It was released by the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA)’s External Publicity Division around that time fifty years ago.

The boundary between India and China extends over 2200 miles. The boundary of Sikkim with the Tibet region of China extends over 140 miles while that of Bhutan extends over 300 miles. The entire length of this border has been either defined by treaty or recognised by custom or by both and until the present controversy no Chinese Government had ever protested against the exercise of jurisdiction by the Government of India upto the customary border.

The Government of the People’s Republic of China contend in their recent letters that this boundary is entirely undelimited. This is wholly incorrect. The traditional border has been well-known for centuries. It follows the geographical principle of the watershed which is in most places the crest of the Himalayan mountains. Moreover, in most parts the boundary has the sanction of specific international agreements.

North-Eastern Frontier

IN the north-east, the traditional boundary was formalised at a Tripartite Conference held in Simla from October 1913 to July 1914 and attended by the Plenipotentiaries of the Governments of India, Tibet and China. The Indian, Tibetan and Chinese Plenipotentiaries had equal status.

The boundary between India and Tibet in the sector east of Bhutan was confirmed by an exchange of notes between the Tibetan and Indian representatives on March 24 and 25, 1914. The boundary was delineated on two sheets of a large-scale map of the north-east frontier. Two copies of the map were signed and sealed by the Indian and Tibetan representatives. The line was drawn after full discussion and later reaffirmed by a formal exchange of notes.

The Indo-Tibetan boundary, as agreed upon by the Indian and Tibetan Plenipotentiaries, was incorporated on the map attached to the draft convention and was never challenged by the Chinese representative at that time or afterwards.
There is nothing to indicate that the Tibetan authorities were, in any way, dissatisfied with the delineation. On the other hand, Lonchen Shatra, the Tibetan Plenipotentiary, stated explicitly in the letters exchanged that he had received orders from Lhasa to agree to the boundary as marked on the map.

There is no doubt that the McMahon Line (so called after McMahon, the British representative at the Conference) merely confirmed the natural, traditional, ethnic and administrative boundary in the area. It runs mostly along the crest of the Himalayan Range which forms the natural frontier between the Tibetan plateau in the north and the submontane region in the south. The Monba, Aka, Dafla, Miri, Abor and Mishmi tribes, who inhabit the area, are of the same ethnic stock as the other hill-tribes of Assam and have no kinship with the Tibetans. The Tibetans refer to these tribes as Lopas—southern barbarians beyond the pale.

It has to be appreciated however that bounda-ries between any two countries are not deter-mined by ethnic affiliations of people living in frontier regions. It is also possible that people of the same racial stock live on either side of a border. India is a multi-national state in which many racial minorities enjoy equal rights of citizenship. In this context, it is relevant to mention that there are thousands of Indian citizens of Tibetan origin in our frontier areas.

The fact is that the ethnic composition of frontier peoples is not a determining factor; the important consideration to bear in mind is that Tibetan authorities had not exercised jurisdiction at any time in this area. On the other hand, the exercise of jurisdiction by the Government of India has been long and continuous.

Both the Simla Convention and the map attached to it were signed by Ivan Chen, the Chinese Representative. Although the Chinese Government later repudiated his signature, the objections to the Simla Convention listed in their memorandum of April 25, May 1 and June 13, 1914 and May 30, 1919 were solely in regard to the boundary between Inner Tibet and China and between Inner Tibet and Outer Tibet. China neither protested against the boundary between India and Tibet nor did she seek modification of it after the Simla Convention.

It is significant too that the Chinese Government agreed in 1956-57 to consider the eastern sector of the McMahon Line, which for about 120 miles forms the boundary between Burma and China, as the traditional boundary between the two countries.

Central Sector

THE central sector of the boundary between Tibet and India is the frontier of Uttar Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh and the Punjab States in north India. The boundary between Uttar Pradesh and Tibet follows the watershed between the Sutlej on the one hand and the Ganges (the Kali, the Alaknanda and the Jadhganga) on the other. In this sector, the High Himalayan Range, with passes at a height of about 17,000 feet, runs 30 miles south of the water-parting, which is a lower range easily crossed from the Tibetan plateau.

However, the watershed has been the traditional and well-known boundary. Revenue records of the Garhwal district as far back as 1850 establish this. Even Chinese maps upto 1958 showed the watershed as the frontier.

The Nilang-Jadhang area, Bara Hoti, Lapthal and Sangcha Malla, which according to the contention of the Chinese Government lie in Tibet, are in fact well on the Indian side of the watershed. Nilang-Jadhang is an area of about 700 square miles north of the main Himalayan range but south of the watershed. Bara Hoti, a small area of about 11 square miles, also lies between the highest range of the Himalayas and the main watershed. Lapthal and Sangcha Malla are south-east of Bara Hoti, in Almora district in Uttar Pradesh.

The boundary between Himachal Pradesh and Tibet is the water-parting between the eastern and western tributaries of the Sutlej; and the boundary between the Punjab and Tibet is the major watershed between the Pare Chu and the Spiti river systems.

Boundary of Ladakh

THE boundary of Jammu and Kashmir with Sinkiang and Tibet is about 1100 miles in length. Of this the frontier of Ladakh (which is part of Jammu and Kashmir) forms nearly two-thirds. In the north the boundary follows the Mustag, Aghil and Kuen Lun ranges to a point well beyond 80 degree east. Turning south it follows the western watershed of the numerous rivers which flow into the lakes in Sinkiang.

Passing through Lanak La, the boundary follows the eastern and southern watersheds of the Chang Chenmo and the southern watershed of the Chumesang. Thereafter skirting the southern bank of the Chumesang, the eastern bank of the Changlung Lungpa and the western extremity of the eastern half of the Pangong Lake, it follows the Ang watershed and, after cutting across the Spanggur Lake, follows the north-western and northern watersheds of the Indus.

From Chang La the boundary follows the Kailash range and the northern watershed of the Sutlej and the Pare Chu till it meets the north-eastern extremity of Spiti.
This boundary between Ladakh and Tibet, long-sanctified by custom, was reaffirmed by the Treaty of 1842 signed by the representatives of Kashmir on the one hand and the Dalai Lama and the Emperor of China on the other. The Tibetan text of the treaty confirms that China was a party to it. It is true that the treaty did not define the boundary but referred merely to the “old established frontiers”. This was because these frontiers were well-known and did not require any formal delimitation. In 1847 the Chinese Government informed the British Government that as the boundary was sufficiently and distinctly fixed, there was no need for additional measures for fixing them.

The area was surveyed by Indian officials and, once a detailed first-hand knowledge was obtained of the region, official Indian maps began to show the boundary with precision. Even official maps of 1893, 1917 and 1919 showed the boundary in this area as depicted in official Indian maps today.

Attitude of Chinese Government

FOR many years after 1949, when the People’s Republic was established, there was no reason to believe that the Chinese authorities either were unaware of the traditional boundary or disputed its alignment.

In 1950 the Chinese Government expressed their gratification over the desire of the Govern-ment of India “to stabilise the Chinese-Indian border” and the Government of India replied that “the recognised boundary between India and Tibet should remain inviolate”. The Chinese Government questioned neither the location nor the recognition of the boundary, and the Government of India saw no reason to assume that there was any doubt regarding the border.

On various occasions in 1951 and 1952, Indian interests in Tibet were discussed but the Chinese Government never suggested that there was any frontier issue to be negotiated. The only cause for doubting whether the Chinese authorities accepted the traditional boundary was the fact that different alignments were being shown on Chinese maps. The alignments included about 36,000 square miles of territory on the north-eastern frontier and an area of about 15,000 square miles in north-eastern Ladakh within China.

On November 20, 1950, Prime Minister Nehru declared in the Lok Sabha that “the McMahon Line is our boundary, map or no map. We will not allow anybody to come across that boundary.” This definite and public declaration of policy was not questioned by the Chinese authorities.

When the discrepancies between Indian and Chinese maps were brought to the notice of the Chinese Government, they replied that their maps were based on old maps of the Kuomintang period and they did not assert any claims on the basis of these maps. Nor did they challenge the official Indian maps which were showing the traditional alignment.

In December 1953, negotiations were begun for an agreement between the two countries on trade and intercourse between Tibet and India. This would have been the obvious occasion for the Chinese Government to raise questions regarding the frontier but they did not say anything to suggest that the traditional alignments shown in the Indian maps was unacceptable to them.

In October 1954, when the Prime Minister visited China, in the course of his talks with the Chinese leaders he briefly mentioned to them that he had seen some maps published in China which showed a wrong boundary between the two countries. He added that he presumed that this was an error and that so far as the Government of India were concerned, they were not greatly worried about it, because the boundaries of India were clear and not a matter of argument.

The Chinese Prime Minister replied once more that the maps were really reproductions of old maps drawn before 1949 and the Chinese Government had had as yet no time to revise them.

Chinese Intrusion

FROM 1954, however, Chinese personnel persistently visited the Bara Hoti area in Uttar Pradesh and in the summer of 1956 a Chinese survey party came to the Spiti area, and armed Chinese personnel intruded into Nilang-Jadhang and crossed the Ship La Pass. Protests from the Government of India remained unanswered.
However, when Mr Chou En-lai visited India towards the end of 1956, in his talks with the Prime Minister he referred to the Sino-Indian boundary and mentioned especially the so-called McMahon Line. He said that he had accepted the McMahon Line as the border between China and India and whatever might have happened long ago, in view of new developments and friendly relations which existed between China and India, he would accept this border with India also.

At that time Prime Minister Nehru recorded the substance of his talk with the Chinese Prime Minister in the following words: “Premier Chou referred to the McMahon Line and again said that he had never heard of this before though of course the then Chinese Government had dealt with this matter and not accepted that Line. He had gone into this matter in connection with the border dispute with Burma.

“Although he thought that this Line, established by British Imperialism, was not fair nevertheless, because of the friendly relations which existed between China and the countries concerned, namely, India and Burma, the Chinese Government were of the opinion that they should give recognition to this McMahon Line. They had, however, not consulted the Tibetan authorities about it yet. They proposed to do so.”

The two Prime Ministers discussed this matter at same length. After Mr Chou En-lai had made it clear that the Chinese Government intended to accept the traditional boundary between India and China, Mr Nehru mentioned that there were no frontier disputes between the two countries but only some minor border problems. It was decided that these petty issues should be settled amicably by the represen-tatives of the two Governments meeting together on the basis of established practices and custom as well as watersheds.

Despite this, Chinese incursions into Indian territory continued. In 1957, a patrol party was noticed in the Spiti area, and a road running for about a hundred miles across Aksai Chin, which is a part of India, was completed.

The next year they came to Khurnak fort in Ladakh, arrested an Indian patrol party in Aksai Chin, and intruded into Sangcha Malla and Lapthal, both on the Indian side of the traditional boundary of Uttar Pradesh.

When the Government of India protested at these Chinese activities on the Indian side of the border, the arrested Indian patrol party was released, but no reply was sent with regard to the other incidents.

In July 1958, there was published in an official Chinese magazine a map of China, which included within Chinese territory four of the five Divisions of the North-East Frontier Agency, some areas in north Uttar Pradesh, and large areas in eastern Ladakh. The Government of India drew the attention of the Chinese authorities to this, and suggested that as the People’s Government had been in office for nearly nine years, necessary corrections in Chinese maps should not be delayed any longer.

Boundary Questioned

THE Chinese Government replied that the boundary line in Chinese maps was being drawn on the basis of old maps published before 1949. They added, however, that they had not yet undertaken a survey of their boundary nor consulted with the countries concerned and they would not make changes in the boundary on their own. This remark implied that they regarded the boundary between India and China as an open issue which should be the subject of discussions.

Thereupon, Mr Nehru, in a letter of December 14, 1958 to the Chinese Prime Minister, pointed out that this suggestion could never be accepted by India. “There can be no question of these large parts of India being anything but India and there is no dispute about them. I do not know what kind of surveys can affect these well-known and fixed boundaries.”

Mr Chou En-lai replied to this letter on January 23, 1959. He suggested that the boundary should be determined after surveys and mutual consultations, and till then the two sides should maintain the status quo. Mr Nehru, in his reply of March 22, again pointed out that the boundary as shown by India on her official maps was not only based on natural and geographical features but coincided with tradition and over a large part was confirmed by international agreements.
In July an armed Chinese detachment entered the region of Western Panglong Lake in Ladakh and established a camp at Spanggur; and in August armed Chinese forces intruded into Khinzemano and overpowered the Indian outpost at Longju, both in the North-East Frontier Agency.

On September 8, 1959 Mr Chou En-lai wrote to Mr Nehru asserting that there was no agreement between the two Governments on the alignment of the boundaries and, for the first time, he laid claims to extensive areas of Indian territory. He proposed that an overall settlement should be sought through negotiations. Pending this, as a provisional measure, the two sides should maintain the long-existing status quo on the border.

Indian Position

MR NEHRU, in his reply of September 26, made it clear that there could be no question of discussing the whole northern boundary of India, which had been settled for centuries by history, geography, custom and tradition. As the terrain of the Sino-Indian border made physical demarcation on the ground in many places impossible, minor border rectifications in some places were perhaps required, and the Government of India were willing to have discussions for such a purpose.
But any such discussions, would have to be on the basis that the frontier was, on the whole, well-known and beyond dispute. The Government of India could not discuss the Chinese claim to over 50,000 square miles of what had been for many decades, and in some places for centuries, an integral part of Indian territory.
Mr Nehru pointed out in this connection that the suggestion that an independent Government of India were seeking to reap the benefit from past British aggression against China was not only false but had caused deep resentment in India.

Mr Nehru once more stated the position of the Government of India that, pending discus-sions on the frontier alignment in particular sectors, the status quo should be maintained and both sides should respect the traditional frontier. At no place were Indian personnel to be found on the Tibetan side of the traditional frontier; but Chinese personnel were at various places in eastern Ladakh and in occupation of Longu.

Assertions Refuted

MR NEHRU refuted in detail the assertions made by Mr Chou En-lai regarding various sectors of the boundary. He showed that the boundary between Ladakh and Tibet, as delineated on Indian maps, was the traditional boundary and that China had been a party to the 1842 treaty. In the middle sector there could be little doubt about the boundary, for the 1954 agreement between India and China had specified six passes in this area and these had been recognised by implication as border passes. In fact, the Government of India had always been in control of the Indian ends of these passes.

As for the so-called McMahon Line, the Chinese representative at the Simla Conference had been fully aware of the boundary that had been settled between India and Tibet and the Chinese Government had not then or later raised any objection to it.

In the circumstances, the boundary settled between India and Tibet in 1914 should, in accordance with accepted international practice, be regarded as binding on both Tibet and China. Moreover, this alignment had represented correctly the customary boundary in the area.

Mr Nehru emphatically repudiated the allegation that the Government of India had “invaded and occupied” a number of places in Tibet and showed that it was in fact Chinese personnel that had crossed the border in a number of places.

This letter of the Prime Minister gave sufficient evidence to show that the present frontiers of India are historic frontiers. The administration, too, has been extended right up to the frontier. Even the uninhabited areas of Ladakh have been visited regularly by reconnaissance parties, and it was only recently that they found the Chinese gradually coming into the area.

The Chinese Government, however, have so far given no adequate reply to Mr Nehru’s letter.

Kongka Pass Killings

ON October 20 and 21, 1959, an Indian police patrol in the legitimate discharge of its duties was attacked and nine persons were killed by the Chinese near the Kongka Pass, about 50 miles within Indian territory. When the Government of India lodged a protect, the Chinese Govern-ment rejected it stating that the place where the incident occurred was indisputably Chinese territory.

On November 4 the Government of India rebutted this assertion in detail. They said that there was no doubt about India’s northern frontier, which had been shown with precision on official maps, and the area was well within Indian territory. The Chinese Government, however, had never made any precise statement as to where they claimed their frontier to lie.

Proposal for Status Quo

ON November 7, 1959, Mr Chou En-lai proposed that to maintain the status quo on the border and to create a favourable atmosphere for a settlement of the boundary question, the armed forces of China and India should each at once withdraw 50 kilometres from the so-called McMahon Line and, in Ladakh, from the line upto which each side exercised actual control. He added that to discuss further the boundary and other questions the two Prime Ministers should meet in the immediate future.

Mr Nehru replied on November 16 that he agreed that the two Governments should reach an agreement without delay which would eliminate risks of border clashes. He pointed out that the Government of India had not posted any armed personnel anywhere at or near the international boundary and had only recently, after the incidents involving Chinese troops, asked the Army to take over responsibility for the protection of the border. The border outposts had been instructed not to send out any forward patrols, and if this suggestion were accepted by the Chinese Government as well the risk of border clashes would be completely eliminated.
The Government of India could not agree to any arrangement even as an interim measure which would maintain the forcible Chinese occupation of Longju, which was in Indian territory; but if the Chinese withdrew from it Indian personnel would not re-occupy it.
As for Ladakh, Mr Nehru suggested that the Government of India would withdraw all personnel to the west of the line which the Chinese Government had shown as the international boundary in their 1950 maps, which, so far as the Government of India were aware, were their latest maps, on condition that the Chinese Government withdraw their personnel to the east of the traditional boundary shown on official Indian maps.

In this sector, since the facts of possession and the extent of jurisdiction exercised by either party were disputed, there were no means of ascertaining the prevalent status quo. So Mr Nehru’s counter-proposals were the only practicable means of achieving a separation of the forces and thus avoiding clashes.

Regarding a meeting of the two Prime Minister, Mr Nehru felt that to ensure its success preliminary steps should be taken and the foundation for discussions laid. Immediate efforts should, therefore, be concentrated on reaching an interim understanding which would help to ease the tension, and therefore necessary preliminary steps should be taken.

Chinese Rejection

IN his letter of December 17, 1959, Mr Chou En-lai rejected Mr Nehru’s counter-proposals for interim measures to be taken to avoid clashes. No reply was given to Mr Nehru’s letter of September 26 and the Note of November 4, in which sufficient evidence had been adduced to substantiate the traditional alignment of the boundary as shown on Indian maps. Instead, Mr Chou En-lai suggested that the two Prime Ministers should meet on December 26, 1959 either in China or in Rangoon.

Mr Nehru replied on December 21, 1959 deeply regretting that Mr Chou En-lai had not accepted the very reasonable proposals put forward by the Government of India to secure an immediate lessening of tension along the border. He was always ready to meet and discuss with the Chinese Prime Minister the outstanding differences between the two countries; but there could be no agreement of principle when there was such complete disagreement about the facts. He would, therefore, prefer to wait for the Chinese Government’s promised reply to his letter of September 26, and the Note of November 4, before discussing what should be the next step.

The Government of China sent what purported to be replies to the Indian letter and Note, on December 26, 1959. Instead of meeting the carefully substantiated arguments put forward by the Indian Government, these letters only reiterated the Chinese stand. It was asserted that the boundary had not been delineated in the Western and Middle sectors, that the ‘McMahon Line’ was illegal and that the alignment shown on Chinese maps was the traditional one.

The Government of India, in their Note of February 12, 1960, produced additional evidence in refutation of the Chinese contentions.

Prime Ministers’ Meeting

ON February 5, 1960, the Prime Minister, Mr Nehru, wrote to Premier Chou En-lai stating that while the Chinese contention that the boundary was undelimited was unacceptable, he would be glad to meet Premier Chou En-lai in Delhi. The two Prime Ministers met in Delhi in April. They failed to resolve the differences, but agreed that the officials of the two Governments should meet to examine all relevant documents in support of the stands of the two Governments and report. Meantime, every effort should be made to avoid friction and clashes in the border areas.

Report of the Officials

THE officials of the two Governments met in Peking, Delhi and Rangoon and submitted their Report to the two Governments. The Government of India published the Report in full on February 14, 1961, while the Government of China published it only a year later, in April 1962.

The Report showed that the evidence in support of the Indian case was overwhelmingly superior to that brought forward by the Chinese side. Evidence of tradition, custom and usage left no doubt that the boundary alignment shown by India was the long-established one. The Chinese could produce hardly any evidence of tradition and custom. Treaties, agreements and diplomatic exchanges of different periods confirmed the traditionally accepted boundary.

The Indian side also produced a large mass of evidence of explorations, surveys, maintenance of trade routes and collection of revenues establishing continuous administration of the areas now claimed by China. On the other hand the Chinese side produced only a few vague and imprecise documents of very recent date which were inconsistent with their claims and arguments and contradictory in fact. Indeed, many items of evidence cited by them were found to prove the Indian case.
The fact that the alignment claimed by the Chinese was wholly arbitrary was also clear from the fact that in addition to the inconsis-tencies already prevailing in Chinese maps, the alignment shown in the Chinese map officially given at the talks in 1960 was altogether different in the Ladakh area from the alignment shown in the 1956 map which was endorsed by Premier Chou En-lai in December 1959. The former align-ment covered some 2000 square miles of Indian territory.

Continued Aggression

DURING and after the talks of the officials, the Chinese authorities, instead of taking steps to reduce the tension on the border, continued to intrude into Indian territory to consolidate the areas occupied by them.

• Thus in June and September 1960 the Chinese intruded into Taktsang Gompa in the Eastern Sector, and into Sikkim.

• In October, they came up to Hot Spring in Ladakh.

• In August 1961 they established three new checkposts near Nyagzu in Ladakh and constructed roads linking these posts with rear bases.

• Early in 1962, they conducted aggressive forward patrolling in the Western Sector.

• They even protested against the presence of Indian troops on Indian soil, and on April 30, threatened that they would not only patrol the entire Western Sector but would consider patrolling along the entire boundary.

The Government of India, however, while performing their duty of taking measures ot defend their territory, continued to strive to settle the problem by peaceful means. On May 14, 1962 they repeated their offer, first made in November 1959, that both India and China should withdraw their troops behind the alignments claimed by China and India respectively in Ladakh and thus reduce the prevailing tension. The Chinese Government not only rejected this reasonable offer but proceeded to set up now military posts.

In July they created a serious incident by encircling an Indian post in the Galwan Valley.

In September a Chinese force stepped across the established boundary in the Eastern Sector.

(On October 20 they launched a major invasion in both Western and Eastern Sectors.)

Alongside these aggressive activities, the Chinese Government sought, in December 1961, to secure the conclusion of a new trade agreement in place of the 1954 Agreement which had lapsed. India pointed out that until the Chinese had reversed their aggressive and expansionist policies and restored the proper atmosphere for the observance of the Five Principles underlying the 1954 Agreement, there could be no negotiations for another agreement.

In August 1962, the Government of India invited the Government of China to send a representative to examine means of restoring the status quo and producing the proper climate for considering the boundary question.

In September India reiterated this position and agreed to the Chinese suggestion that the representatives should first meet in Peking from October 15.
The Government of China, however, seemed to be in no mood to create such an atmosphere. Their aggressive activities continued.

Talks with Pakistan

MOREOVER, in May 1962 they entered into an agreement with Pakistan for delimiting the boundary with that part of Kashmir which has been under the illegal occupation of Pakistan. The Government of India have made it clear that Kashmir is legally a part of India and that they would not recognise any agreement reached with Pakistan regarding this sector of the Indian boundary.

Sikkim and Bhutan

CLOSELY linked to the question of the boundary between India and China is the question of the boundaries of Sikkim and Bhutan with China. In his letter of September 8, 1959, Mr Chou En-lai stated that the boundaries of Bhutan and Sikkim did not fall within the scope of discussion between India and China.
To this Mr Nehru replied in his letter of September 26, that China was well aware of India’s obligation to maintain the territorial integrity of Sikkim and Bhutan. The Chinese Government had recognised as far back as 1890 that the Government of India had “direct and exclusive control over the internal administration and foreign relations” of Sikkim.

This Convention of 1890 also defined the boundary between Sikkim and Tibet as the crest of the mountain range separating the waters flowing into the Sikkim Teesta and its affluents from the waters flowing into the Tibetan Mochu and northward into other rivers of Tibet. Five years later, in 1895, this boundary was demarcated on the ground. There can, therefore, be no dispute regarding the boundary between Sikkim and Tibet.

The boundary of Bhutan has not been so defined and it is a traditional one following the crest of the Himalayan range. Chinese maps show sizeable areas of Bhutan as parts of Tibet. The rectification of these errors is a matter for the Government of India, for under treaty relationships with Bhutan, the Government of India are the only competent authority to take up with other Governments matters concerning Bhutan’s external relations. They have in fact already taken up with the Chinese Government a number of matters on behalf of the Bhutan Government.

In their note of December 26, 1959, the Chinese accepted that the boundary with Sikkim had been demarcated and that there was no dispute. With Bhutan, they said there was “only a certain discrepancy between the delineation on the maps of the two sides in the sector south of the so-called McMahon line”. In other words, they accepted the traditional northern boundary of Bhutan. Their claim to the south-eastern part of Bhutan is untenable as the McMahon line forms the valid boundary between Tibet and India in this section.

Conclusion

To sum up:

a: India’s traditional frontier with China is well-known, being based on treaty, agreement and custom. Till recently, no Chinese Government has ever challenged it.

b: The present controversy over the frontier arose because the Chinese Government for the first time laid claims to extensive areas of Indian territory in Premier Chou En-lai’s letter of September 8, 1959.

c: The tension on the India-China border has increased in the last three years because Chinese forces have been pushing forward to assert their claims.

d: The Government of India have stated that in spite of Chinese provocations they will always explore the possibilities of a peaceful settlement. But they are prepared to discuss with the Chinese Government existing disputes and such minor rectifications of the frontier as may be considered necessary by agreement.
(Since the current aggression was launched by China on October 20, the Government of India, with the support of the entire Indian people, have declared that in order that first steps to settle the problem can be taken Chinese forces must retire to positions held by them before September 8, 1962.)

ISSN : 0542-1462 / RNI No. : 7064/62 Privacy Policy Notice Addressed to Online Readers of Mainstream Weekly in view of European data privacy regulations (GDPR)