Sunday, June 28, 2009

Indo-China relations: Arunachal Pradesh and Aksai Chin

By Vinod Erat

Facts—Aksai Chin is administered by China as Kargilik County in the Kashgar Prefecture of Xinjiang Autonomous Region, but India claims it to be a part of J&K. The line that separates Indian-administered areas of Kashmir from the Aksai Chin is known as the Line of Actual Control (LAC).

Your browser may not support display of this image. Arunachal pradesh-The McMahon Line is a line agreed to by British India and Tibet as part of Simla Accord, a treaty signed in 1914. Although its legal status is disputed, it is the effective boundary between China and India. China rejects the Simla Accord, contending that the Tibetan government was not sovereign and therefore did not have the power to conclude treaties.[4][5] Chinese maps show some 56,000 square miles (150,000 km2) of territory south of the line as part of the Tibet Autonomous Region, popular known as South Tibet in China. Chinese forces briefly occupied this area during the Sino-Indian War of 1962-63.

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Issues

  1. Chinese claims that the 90,000 sq km tract of land on the eastern wing of the Himalayas, which broadly corresponds to Arunachal Pradesh and which has been under Indian administration since the 1940s
  2. China does not recognize the McMahon Line (the British-delineated borderline between India and China)
  3. China ready to acknowledge Indian sovereignty in the 'eastern tract' if India would abandon its claim to Aksai Chin, the 38,000 km tract of cold desert in Ladakh in the western Himalayas that China had brought under its control when its army "liberated" Tibet in 1951
  4. In the 1950s and 1960s, when Tibet wasn't as well-connected by road-and-rail networks as it is today, control of Aksai Chin was of strategic importance to China in order to establish its authority in the combustible erstwhile kingdom. Likewise, for India, control of the 'eastern tract' was critical for it to maintain its hold on the fissiparous northeastern region
  5. But India rejected this 'east-west' swap proposal on the principled ground that Chinese 'concessions' in the eastern tract were not concessions at all since China had never administered this area and had no right over it. And from its perspective, Aksai Chin was Indian territory that had been "illegally occupied" by China
  6. Since October 1985, however, China has claimed right over the entire eastern tract, in present-day Arunachal Pradesh. In fact, Chinese negotiators have even turned their original swap proposal on its head, and have subsequently claimed that China would be willing to make concessions in the western tract (that is, Aksai Chin) if India reciprocated by giving up its claims in the eastern tract (that is, Arunachal Pradesh)!
  7. In fact, China's about-turn on the east-west swap proposal may be linked to its changed geopolitical needs. With the completion of numerous road and rail links to Lhasa from other parts of China, and the heightened accessibility to Tibetan areas, Aksai Chin doesn't hold the same strategic significance that it did in the 1950s and 1960s.
  8. Aksai Chin is the place "where not a blade of grass grows," as Jawaharlal Nehru once dismissively said. In contrast, Arunachal Pradesh has mineral and timber resources, and is also a potential source of hydroelectric power.
  9. Recently China denied visas Indian officials from the border state into China.
  10. Given its international stature and the economic power, it thinks that it is not compelled by any “compromises” to solveany issues and is ready to play the hard game.

2 comments:

  1. Write in your own words instead of copying verbatim from Wikipedia...

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  2. "Mr Anonymous"-At least Vinod tried something and what you do is making a fool of yourself.So please stay away.We don't want losers like u here.

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