alexa Sino-India Border War | OMICS International
ISSN: 2332-0761
Journal of Political Sciences & Public Affairs
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Sino-India Border War

Sheikh Mohd Arif*

School of Studies in Political Science and Public Administration, Vikram University, Ujjain, M.P, 456010, India

*Corresponding Author:
Sheikh Mohd Arif
School of Studies in Political Science and Public Administration
Vikram University, Ujjain, M.P, 456010, India
Tel: 0734-2520568
E-mail: [email protected]

Received Date: February 01, 2015; Accepted Date: February 27, 2015; Published Date: March 10, 2015

Citation: Arif SM (2015) Sino-India Border War. J Pol Sci Pub Aff 3:144. doi:10.4172/2332-0761.1000144

Copyright: © 2015 Arif SM. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

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China and India are the two largest Asian countries, whose combined population of the 2 billion constitutes one third of the world’s total. Sharing a border some 2500 miles in length, they are separate by Himalayas in the eastern sector of Sino-Indian border and by the Karakoram in the western sector. Since 1913-14 Shimla conference, Sino-Indian border as a part of the issue of Tibet’s status has been a matter of dispute in the relations between the two countries. After India’s independence and the founding of the People’s Republic of China in the late 1940’s, the boundary problem became a major barrier to the development of Sino-India relations. Today, thus unresolved dispute remains at the core of their relations.


Sino; India; Border; Conflict; Cooperation; War


The Sino-Indian boundary has never been formally delimited and demarcated; and no boundary treaty has been mutually accepted by both the governments of India and China. The entire Sino-Indian border is generally divided into the eastern, middle and western sector. In terms of India’s territorial claims to its northern border region, India negotiators identify five sectors rather than three sectors, adding the Tibet-Sikkim and Sino-Pakistan border on the agenda of the Sino- Indian border negotiations. The China has resisted their attempts again and again on the grounds that these borders involve a third party, the western sector involves the dispute over the Aksai Chin area of what India claims as Ladakh. The middle sector involves a dispute over various points between the Tibet-Kashmir-Punjab border junction and the Nepal-Tibet-Uttar Parades border junction. Between Bhutan and Burma lies the eastern sector which involves a dispute over the area lies within the territory claimed by India as part of Arunachal Pradesh formerly the North-East Frontier Agency (NEFA) of Assam State. The McMahon Line in the eastern sector and the Aksai Chin area in the western sector have been central to the Sino-Indian border dispute. The border dispute is left by history. It originated from British and Russian expansion into Central Asia and their calculation of strategic security in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century. In the late 1950, the border dispute poisoned the climate of Sino-Indian entente cordiale. Nehru’s policy of no-dispute no-negotiation and his forward policy finally led to a border war in 1962. From then on, Sino-Indian relations entered an era of cold war which lasted nearly 20 years. The existence of the border dispute first became known in 1954 when armed intrusions along the border in the middle sector were reported by both sides. These incidents were dismissed as “nothing very extraordinarily, because there is no demarcation at all.” This dispute however was aggravated by the Tibetan revolution in March 1959 and henceforth by a tremendous change in the world situation. Thus the mutual distrust and hostility have characterized relations between India and China since the 1950s. The ‘Hindi-Chini bhai-bhai” (India-China brotherhood), which Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru of India believed in implicitly, broke down in the early 1950s after the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) of China invades and annexed Tibet. With the completion of the occupation of Tibet, the PLA was at the doorstep of India’s northern frontiers. The Chinese leadership refused to recognize the boundary that has been demarcated between British India and Tibet by the erstwhile British colonial and Tibetan officials, and war broke out in 1962 as the situation worsened. Since then the relations have been rocky, but have improved, in fits and starts, since 1976. This has led to some scholars positing that the two countries would enter into a more friendly and cooperative relationship. However, such conclusions are, at best, premature. The rivalry between the two sides that has existed for so long is unlikely to disappear soon. Relations between India and China in the 21st century will continue to be characterized by rivalry and peaceful competition. The current phase of thaw in relations between the two states will be short-lived because both states have conflicting interests and goals at the regional level. Probably, the most significant of these regions is Tibet [1].

Beginning of Discord

The India-China rivalry originated with the Chinese occupation of Tibet in 1951. With the occupation, a buffer that insulated direct contact between the two countries disappeared and the Indo-Tibetan border became the bone of contention between the two sides for several decades. The Chinese have encountered frequent disturbance and protests both inside and outside Tibet by pro-independence activists, and Chinese leaders have always been concerned about resurgent nationalist movements based on ethnicity nationalist movements based on ethnicity and religion within China’s outlying provinces. Tibet has attracted widespread international attention and the Chinese have frequently been subject to attacks on their human rights record in Tibet by the international community, especially the west. For the long time now, India has deliberately avoided condemning China’s human rights record and its occupation of Tibet. The prime motivation for this has been the desire to improve its relations with China. In addition, India is sensitive about the issue of human rights because its own record in Kashmir has been less than perfect. Since the 1960s, Indian officials have repeatedly declared that they accept Chinese rule in Tibet. In truth, any declaration to the country might seriously jeopardize relational between the two sides [1]. Despite of the border tension, two countries signed agreement on Tibet on April 29, 1954. India gave its rights in Tibet and recognized it as a “region of china”. These, as RK Nehru explained, were, “a concession only to realism”. Sooner after the 1954 agreement the two sides began to contest the ownership of a grazing ground called Bara Hoti along the UP-Tibet border. Suring his talks with Zhou in Beijing later that year Nehru indirectly referred to boundary alignment in Chinese maps. Zhou replied that China had been reprinting old maps. They had not undertaken surveys nor consulted neighboring countries, and had no basis for fixing the boundary lines. Nehru replied that he was not worried about these maps: “our frontiers are clear”. Despite the air of nonchalance Nehru’s unease was obvious: “supposing we publish a map showing Tibet as part of India, how China would feel about it?” interestingly, Zhou did not raise any question about the new Indian maps, which depicted a firm boundary in all sectors and incorporated Aksai China within India. The following summer the Hoti problem cropped again. G B Pant–now the Home Minister felt that the Chinese had “their eyes on Hoti”. He wrote to Nehru that issue of defining the boundary in this area might have to be taken up, “but there is no urgency and it can well wait for easier days” [2]. By early 1956, there were reports that the Chinese were constructing road on their side of the India-Tibet frontier. The Indian Consulate-General in Tibet wrote that these roads could be used for access to border areas and to take possession of these parts. To counteract this, it was essential to accelerate existing measures to “develop (sic) areas along our border, make roads, educate people and make them conscious of India”. The note also called checkposts closer to the border and mobile patrols to ensure that the Chinese will not encroach on our areas”. Nehru’s principal concern was with Chinese map calming “quite a good part of Assam, also a bit of UP.” He was apparently not much bothered about Chinese map lines in the western sector. As we saw, Nehru was amenable to compromise in this sector. He now began to reconsider the wisdom of waiting for China to bring up the issue. Zhou had not accepted India’s version of the boundary explicitly and had not said that the maps were old. The continued publication of these maps together with petty border incidents and construction of road in Tibet produced “a sense of disquiet”. During Zhou visit to India in January 1957, Zhou referred to the McMahon line in the context of the Sino-Burmese boundary. Although China had never recognized the line, they thought “now that it is an accomplished fact, we should accept it”. They had not consulted the Tibetan authorities and would do so. Nehru took this as a clear acceptance of the McMahon Line. He suggested that minor border issues such as Hoti could be settled by discussions between officials. Zhou agreed, but the discussions did not commence until April 1958. In September 1957, the embassy in Beijing drew Delhi’s attention to an official announcement of the completion of the Sinkiang-Tibet road. A small-scale map of the road was also published, which suggested that the road might run through Aksai Chin. Years later the Director of the intelligence Bureau (IB) B. N. Mullik, wrote that he had provided enough information” about the construction of the road from 1951 onwards. In 1958 an intelligence patrol reported additional signs of Chinese activities near Aksai Chin. The IB recommended that a protest be logged. The MEF through that since the boundary in this area had not been delimited a protest would not be on firm grounds. The army took the view that road was of no strategic importance and besides they could not oust the Chinese from Aksai Chin. Nehru did not feel it feasible to protest without being much surer about the alignment of the road, as he did not believe that Aksas Chin on par with other minor areas in dispute like Hoti. In June following further reports, the government decided to send two patrols to verify the alignment of the road. Negotiations on Hoti were held in April-May 1958. The Chinese proved implacable and refused to provide the requisite information to make any headway. The Indians got the impression that the Chinese were unwilling to negotiate a minor issue or even make their claims clear [3]. In July 1958, a map was printed in Beijing which showed large part of India as Chinese territory that include portion of NEFA, Ladakh and some parts of UP within the approximate boundaries of China. It was also revealed that the Chinese had built a road linking Xinjiang to Tibet, which passed through an uninhabited, and scarcely visited, stretched of the Indian district of Ladakh. There were protests from New Delhi, whereupon Zhou Enlai wrote back saying that the McMahon Line, marking the border between India and China, was a legacy of British imperialism and hence not “legal”. The Chinese leaders suggested that both sides retain control of the territory they currently occupied, pending a final settlement. Meanwhile, a revolt broken out in Tibet it was put down, and in March 1959 the Dalai Lama fled to India. That he was given refuge, and that Indian political parties rushed to his defense, enraged the Chinese. The war of words escalated. That autumn there were sporadic clashes between India and Chinese troops on the border [4]. This pronounced Indian sympathy for Tibet and the exceptionally warm welcome extended to the Dalai Lama infuriated the Chinese. On the other hand, a crescendo of anti-Indian propaganda in China and repeated harassment of Indian traders and nationals in Tibet inflamed Indian public opinion. And soon the Indian Press came out with news of Chinese probe along the Indian frontier [5].

Clash between the Two Countries

Armed clash at Longju

Longji and Migyitun are the two small villages. Migyitun stands on a pilgrimage route of impertinence to the Tibetans. In order to leave it within Tibet, the McMahon Line, following no feature at all, runs about two miles south of Migyitun. The Indians considered that the Tsari River, running roughly west-east immediately south of Migyitun, should make a boundary alignment. Accordingly, they unilaterally set up a border post by crossing the McMahon Line and advanced the boundary to the Tsari River. This forward movement put Longju, on the other side of the valley from Migyitun, within India. In his letter of September 7, 1959, to Nehru, Zhou Enlai complained that Changing unilaterally the long-existing state of the border between the two countries, they not only overstepped the so-called McMahon line as indicated in the map attached to the secret notes exchanged between British and the Tibet local authorities, but also exceeded the boundary drawn on current Indian, maps which is alleged to represent the so-called McMahon Line. Indian troops invaded and occupied Longju, intruded into Yasher, and are still in occupation of Shatze, Khinzemane and Tamaden all of which are Chinese territory shielding armed Tibetan rebel bandits in this [6]. The Longju clash took place on august 25, 1959. The Chinese Premier described the Longju incident as armed attack by Indian troops occupying Longju on the Chinese soldiers stationing at Migyitun. The Chinese were forced to fire back in self-defense. Then the Indian themselves withdrew from Longju and Chinese took it over. But the Indians complained that the Chinese had intruded into the Indian Territory and opened fire, forcing the Indian withdrew from Longju. The Indian notes protested China’s “deliberate aggression “and threatened to use force on the trespassers if necessary”. In addition to Longju, the Indians unilaterally adjusted the McMahon Line at Tamaden and Khinzemane. According to Maxwell, the Indian troops, soon after the Longju incident, withdrew the Tamaden post, admitting that it had been on Chinese territory. It became known three years later that the Khinzemane area would became a direct and immediate fuse of the final flare-up on the entire border in 1962.

Kongka Pass Incident

The Kongka Pass or Kongka La, elevation 5,171 m (16,965 ft.), is a high mountain pass of the Chang-Chemno Range on the Line of Actual Control. China considers the Kongka Pass as its boundary with India, whereas India regards Lanak Pass further east as the boundary. A source states that the traditional border between China and India lay at the Kongka Pass however, other sources state that the traditional boundary between India and Tibet accepted by both sides was at Lanak La [7]. During summer of 1959 Indian Government decided to establish border post northeast of Leh, in Ladakh, and In October 1959, Indian troops crossed the Kongka Pass in an attempt to establish posts on the Lanak Pass. As the Chinese see the Kongka Pass as the boundary feature, as Indians see the Lanak Pass. Before October 20, 1959, the Chinese frontier guards had already established a check post at the Kongka pass. The day the Chinese disarmed and detained three Indian soldiers south of the Kongka Pass then on the next day the Indian patrol party, more than seventy in numbers, attempted to encircle and advance on a Chinese patrol party from two directions in the same area. During the exchange of fire, nine Indians were killed and seven captured by the Chinese. It was said that the Chinese side also suffered causalities. The Indians protested that the Indian patrol party had been ambushed by the Chinese from a hill-top. However, it seems that Nehru still desired a compromise settlement in the western sector. Addressing to the Look Sabha on August 28, 1959, he stated definitely that “this was the boundary of the old Kashmir state with Tibet and Chinese Turkestan [3] Nobody had marked it,” he issued a secret direction to the cabinet members on September 13, 1959, saying that any question in relation to the Aksai Chin could only be considered, when the time arose, in the contest of the large questions of the entire border. For the present India had to put up with the Chinese occupation of this sector and the Chinese road on it [7]. However, on October 20 and 21, 1959, the Indian Home Minister, despite Nehru’s directive, still sent forward patrols into the Kongka pass area which led to serious armed clashes [8]. The two incidents at Longju and Kongka Pass are usually regarded as the prelude of the Sino-Indian border war. At the meeting called by Nehru on October 23, 195these forward patrols were condemned by senior army officer as “expansionism” and “causing provocation on the frontier.” however, the Indian government openly accused of unprovoked aggression”. After the Longju and Kongka Pass Incidents, the Indian Army was ordered to take over the operation control of frontiers in both western and eastern sectors [9].

Nehru-Zhou Summit

On September 9, 1959, after the Longju and Kongka Pass clashes, the Indian government published a White Paper giving details of Sino- Indian exchange of memoranda and letters from 1954 to 1959. This document made known to the world the real story of Sino-Indian relations. The notes in the White Paper Showed that India would not recognize the existence of the boundary dispute and would not negotiate an overall boundary settlement India’s rigid attitude of nonrecognition and non-negotiation and its forward policy led to the failure of the Delhi summit and inevitable to the disastrous border war. The Longju and Kongka Pass clashes brought the Sino-Indian relationship almost to a breaking point. In an attempt to ease the growing tensions and settle the border dispute, Zhou Enlai sent a letter to Nehru on November 7, 1959, suggesting that the two prime ministers meet as soon as possible. In his letter, Zhou put forward a comprehensive proposal of maintaining the status quo and ensuring the tranquility on the entire border pending a settlement [3]. He proposed that the armed forces of China and India each withdraw 20 kilometers at once fro, the so-called McMahon Line in the east, from the line up to which each side exercise actual control in the west, and that the two sides undertake to refrain from again sending their armed personnel to be stationed in and patrol the zones from which they have evacuated their armed forces, but still maintain administrative personnel and unarmed police there for the performance of administrative duties and maintenance of order [6]. This proposal was actually an extension of India’s proposal, contained in its note of September 10 that each side should refrain from sending armed personnel Longju, to the entire Sino-Indian border. In his reply of November 16, Nehru put forward a counterproposal that in the western sector Chinese personnel withdraw to the east of the boundary as shown on Indian maps and Indian personnel withdraw to the west of the boundary as shown on Chinese map. According to Nehru’s proposal, India essentially had no personnel there to withdraw except from some sporadic outposts recently established, while China would withdraw from some sporadic outposts recently established, while China would withdraw from the whole Aksai Chin area. However, Nehru did not want to apply the same principle to the eastern sector, namely, Indian personnel should withdraw to south of the boundary as shown on Chinese maps. Indian’s demand for China’s complete withdrawal from Aksai Chin area became a pre-conditional for negotiation on maintaining the status quo and ensuring the tranquility on the Sino-Indian border. In his letter dated December 17 1959, to Nehru, Zhou disputed Nehru’s position and once again appealed for talks between the two Prime ministers, to be held at any place and as soon as possible, for the interests of the two countries [6]. At first Nehru refused Zhou’s proposal unless the Chinese evacuated check posts and ceased threats and intimidations [10]. Nehru threatened that India would not hesitate to take the only language the Chinese seemed to understand that of force in defense of her territorial integrity [11]. Nehru believed that no agreement could be reached upon principles when there was such complete disagreement about facts”. Later, Nehru changed his mind, and decided to invite Zhou to New Delhi for a meeting, but not for negotiation [9]. The Indian government might consider that India’s refusal for negotiation could be taken as a negative of her own stand that problem between nations should be settled by negotiation. Before Zhou visited India, he visited Burma and signed a boundary agreement with the Burmese government. The Delhi summit was held from April 19 to 25, 190. The negotiation did not resolve the deadlock. There was no movement from the fixed position of both sided. The Indians maintained that the boundaries were already delimited and ran just where they said. The Chinese, the Indians stated, must withdraw before there could be any discussion on the minor adjustments. They bluntly refused Zhou’s “package” approach, by which China accept Indian claims in the eastern sector in exchange for Indian recognition of China’s claim in the western sector essentially acknowledgment of the status quo in terms of actual control [12]. The joint communiqué issued at the termination of the Zhou-Nehru talks admitted that the talks had not resolved the differences. However, they agreed that officials of the two governments should meet and examine all the materials relevant to the boundary question and draw up a report for submission of the two governments. The two official terms met first at Beijing, then in New Delhi, and finally at Rangoon in November and December in 1960. As anticipated, nothing fruitful emerged from their efforts. As a result of these three rounds of official level talks, two reports, one by the Chinese and the other by the Indians, were later published, repeating their respective positions. Both sides cited various historical documents and maps they could dig out in support of their claims and counterclaims. The two reports were submitted to the two governments for consideration in early 1961. Zhou had hoped that his visit could produce some positive result. He seemed to be that his package approach and the boundary agreement with Burma and Nepal might break the stalemate. But in failure, he returned from India with frustration and indignation [13].

The Final Bash and War of 1962

After the failure of the Zhou Nehru summit, Sino-Indian relation steadily deteriorated, with growing tension and frequent border clashes. Both the sides were busy preparing for any possible eventually. From the Indian point of view, acquiescence in the status quo on the boundary would lead to an unacceptable settlement of the boundary on the basis of the lines of actual control by both the sides along the entire border. The new forward policy pursued by the Indian government was aimed at breaking the status quo and improving its legal claims by the fact of possession. Such forward movement in both the western and eastern sectors inevitably led to armed skirmishes which culminated in a full-fledged border conflict. Nehru’s forward policy was formulated and implemented in 1959. It was a logical extension of his policy of non-recognition and non-negotiation. It was also based on the belief that India’s prolonged failure into the Chinese claimed and occupied areas in the western sector and patrol up to the Indian version of the McMahon Line in the eastern sector would imply “a tacit acceptance of Chinese occupation [13]. The logic of the policy was that whoever succeeded in establishing a check post would establish a legal claim to that territory, since possession was none tenths of the law. The objective of the Indian forward policy was, on the hands, to prevent the Chinese advance and get that aggression vacated and, on the other establish the physical presence of Indian troops in the disputed areas up to the Indian-claimed line. The measures of implementing this policy depend upon the specific actualities in the different sectors of the Sino-Indian border. In the western sector, since the line of actual control was largely the Chinese clamed line, and the Chinese had already established their check posts along that line, the Indian armed petrol parties would penetrate into the space between the Chinese check posts. In the eastern sector, although the Chinese had never accepted the original McMahon Line as a legal boundary, they accepted it as a line of actual control for the purpose of maintaining peace and tranquility on the frontier. The Indian government believed that in some places the McMahon Line did not follow any topographical features, and that thus it could rarify the line to meet topographical requirements or rather, India’s own needs. How India to implement that forward policy, Nehru was answered that question before the Look Sabah in 1961: “By diplomatic means, by various measures, and ultimately if you like by war.” He further stated that India would build up her position of strength to deal with the situation. In February 1962, Lt. General Kaul presided over a meeting in gauhati, attended by senior civil and military officers who were dealing with the defense in the eastern sector. It was agreed that it was imperative in the national interest of defense to establish as many posts as possible along the border of the eastern sector, despite the difficulties. However, it seems to be curious that the Indians threatened to vacate Chinese “aggression” by force or by war; they believed that the Chinese would not launch armed attack to defend their territory claims. This was the fundamental and illogical and tragic curs of the India’s philosophy of forward policy [7].

Che and Khinemane areas in eastern sector

Che Dong is a cluster of herders, hunts which sites at the Nyamka Chu or Kechilang valley. To the south of the valley, the Tsangdhar range runs eastwards from the knot of mountains that form the crossing point of the McMahon Line and Bhutan’s eastern borderline range. Between them a mountain river called the Nyamka Chu or the Kechiland River flows from west to east. During the monsoon the river runs fast, but in the dry season can across it in some places without using bridges. The final flare-up started with the establishment of the Indian check post in Khizeemane and Che dong areas at the western extremity of the McMahon line. These two places are located north of the original McMahon Line. The Indian government alleged that the McMahon Line did not follow topographical features here, and the rectified line should follow the Thagla Ridge. This rectification would put Khinzemane and Che Dong within India. The Chinese disputed India’s unilateral rectification of the McMahon Line. The original McMahon Line actually runes along the southern slopes of the Tsangdhar Range [14]. In September 1960, he Indian Forty infantry Division was deployed in Tezpur from Punjab plains. Its task was to defend the frontier of the eastern sector of the Sino-Indian border. In 1962, under operation Onkar, a series of border check posts were established. According to Niranjan Prasad, the field commander of the Forty Infantry Division, between Khinzemane and Bhutan’s eastern border, the McMahon Line was “not an accurate projection of the Himalayan watershed. “Sir Henry McMahon just guessed at geographical and drew a thick blue line, the line just comes down the Pungbosi ridge to Khinzemane, and then, instead of following the main watershed of the Thagla ridge, it drawn in as a straight line running to Bhutan’s eastern border. Therefore the position of the Thagla ridge was, to say the least, left ambiguous [15]. The Indian Government claimed that the Thagla ridge was Indian Territory, but the military maps showed the McMahon Line as running to the south of it. The Chinese regard the McMahon Line as running along the Tsangdhar range. In June 1962, the Indian troops established a post at Che Dong, below Dhola on the Tsangdhar range. In August the Chinese appeared on the Thagla ridge, dominating the Nyamak or Kechilang valley. Major K. C Paval explicitly pointed out that: “As part of the forward policy an Assam Rifles post was set up in June 1962 at an isolated place called Che Dong, which happened to be a few kilometers north of the map-marked McMahon Line but was claimed by Indian as her territory” [9]. For some reasons the post was later called Dhola post instead of Che Dong post. When Brigader D.K Palit, the director of military Operations at Army Headquarters, visited Tezpur on August 14 1962, Brigader Niranjan Prasad told him that if the Dhola Post in fact lay north of the India’s claim line, it could lead to very serious consequences. He asked the higher authorities for clear-cut definition of India’s claim. However, no reply had been received by September 8, when about 600 Chinese soldiers were reported to have descended from the Thagla ridge on the Che Dong post and cut off the line of communication. When the report reached New Delhi, top level conference decided that the Indian troops should drive out the Chinese from the Thagla ridge [16]. On September 11, in his letter to Corps headquarters, Niranjan Prasad emphasized that it was just possible that the Che Dong post lay on the Chinese side of the McMahon Line. However, the next day, at military conference presided over by Lt. General L.P Sen, the Eastern Army Commander, he insisted that the Thagla ridge was Indian territory and the Chinese would have to be “draw our”. He ordered the troops to cross Nyamka Chu or Kechilang River and reinforce the Che Dong post. The first incident of the exchange of the fire on September 18 resulted in causalities to both the sides [15]. India’s original operation plan demanded that the capture of the Thagla ridge should be completed by October 1. Since General Umrao Singh, then XXXIII Corps Commander, refused to collaborate with those who insisted on steering was reshaped on October 4. General B. M Kaul, the chief of General staff, became the new IV corps Commander and took over direct command of the operations in the eastern sector of the Sino-Indian border, including the Thagla ridge area. The task of the capturing the Thagla ridge was first changed to October 5 and lastly to October 10. General Kaul personally flew to Lumpu and deployed Indian fighting forces in the Nyamak Chu area on October 5. He also ordered Indian troops to enter the Dhola area on October 8, and the next day, the Indian occupied Tseng Jong [10]. General Kaul further sent Indian troops to Yumtsola on October 10 and sit behind the Chinese. On the morning of October 9, General Kaul realized the impossibility of the evicting the Chinese from the Thagla ridge, but whatever the cost since this was the last date accepted to the cabinet. The appointment of Lt. General Kaul with the task of “speeding up operation” and the move of VII Infantry Brigade to the Nyamka Chu area and the Thagla ridge and the Indian occupation of Tseng Jong unavoidably led to a major skirmish at Tseng Jong on October 10. It was reported that six Indians were killed and eleven wounded, but the Chinese had 100 casualties. According to Dalvi, the Tseng Jong skirmish was not a prepared operation against the Chinese defense on the Thagla ridge, but a hurried resumption of a weary advance to set up a post at Yumtsola on the Thagla ridge. Kaul also confessed that the occupation of the Tseng Jong demonstrated that it would remain India’s and unchallenged as in the past. What a wishful thinking, those military and political leaders were so naïve and arrogant that they thought that they would not even be punished when they crossed the McMahon Line and set up a military post side by side with the Chinese positions [17]. Krishna Menon, Indian Defense Minister, indicated that “the Government policy is to make an impact on the Chinese in NEFA before they settled down for the winter”. On his way to Ceylon (now Sri Lanka) on October 12, Nehru declared that the order had been issued and the date of its implementation would be entirely decided by the Army [18]. Nehru was reported to tell the field commanders that he had good reasons to believe that “the Chinese not take any strong action against us.” He also told Koul that “we must contest by whatever means at our disposal” [17]. After the fall of Tawang, Major General Niranjan Prasad was called to see President Radakrishnan. He quoted the Indian President as Saying: We had no business to have sent the army on this mission. We seemed to have gone mad about Thag La. At best Thag La is disputed territory. What does Nehru mean by saying ï have ordered the army to throw the Chinese out?” Is this the language to be used in international affairs? Is this the manner in which grave national issues is handled? [15]. The military confrontation was irreversible leading to the war. On the Chinese side, almost concurrent with India’s war preparations, after reviewing the rapidly deteriorating situation on the border and the latest military development on the other side of the border, the highest military authorities decided in early October launch an all-out counterattack along the entire Sino-Indian border. As a lastminute effort to win a peaceful settlement, the Chinese government proposed on October 6 that two governments should at once hold talks on the border question unconditionally, and that the Chinese government would be prepared to receive the Indian delegation on October 14. The Indian government bluntly rejected the Chinese proposal and closed the door to negotiation. On October 12, Nehru publicly stated that India would drive the Chinese out of Indian Territory. He even disclosed that the order had been issued, and the time of its implementation would be decided by the troops. General Zhang Guohua, the Commander of the Tibet Military Region Headquarter, left Beijing for Tibet with the war order on October 8. One day after the October 10 Skirmish he rushed to the front command. On the early morning of October 20, 1962, massive attack along the entire border was started. On the evening of the same day, the Chinese troops entered twang. India’s VII Brigade was wiped out and its commanders, Brigader Dalvi, were captured. On the front of the western and middle sector, almost all of the Indian outposts were removed. On November 15, the Chinese troops launched the second phase of offence. The next day Walong fell, and on November 19, Bomdila fell. The whole area between the McMahon line and the Outer Line to the south was under the Chinese control by November 19. After the Chinese victory in the battlefields, the Chinese government unilaterally announced on November 21, 1962, that within twenty-four hours, its forces would cease fire and halt their advance, and that within another nine days, their troops would withdraw twenty kilometers behind the line of actual control that existed on November 7, 1959 [19]. However, the Indian government asked for restoration of status quo ante of September 2, 1962, in all sectors of the Sino-Indian border. The Indian intended to hold the disputed area occupied by their forces under Nehru’s forward policy between November 7, 1959, and September 2, 1962. The Chinese bluntly rejected it. The Indian government intended to take advantage of the China’s diplomatic isolation and domestic difficulties to secure its territorial claim, as it had done in the Tawang tract during the Korean War. However, the Indians underestimated the determination of the Chinese leaders and the strength of the Chinese armed forces stationed in Tibet. Despite unfavorable domestic and international conditions, Chinese fighting forces did not hesitate to push into the disputed areas, and were pulled out after accomplishing their operation plans. During the 30-day border conflict, Indian suffered a traumatic defeat. Indian losses were substantial: 1,383 killed, 1,696 missing, and 3,968 captured. The Invincibility of the Indian army was shaken to its roots. On the captured Indians had been released by May 25, 1963, six months after the war curtain fell [7]. In 1962 as assumed from the above discussion China was forced to fought a limited war with India under the circumstance unfavorable to China. China was unwilling to prolong or explore the war. Domestic and international situations did not permit Chinese troops to continue the fighting any longer. On the domestic front, ongoing trouble followed by the rebellion in Tibet, growing tension in the Taiwan Strait, and the failure of the Big leap Forward drew Chinese leaders attention to urgent domestic problems. Internationally, there was continuing animosity between China and the US, and Sino-Soviet relations had been increased because of the ideological controversy. Immediate after the Sino-Indian border war, on November 14, 1962, the Look Sabha, the Lower House of the Indian parliament, passed a resolution on November 14, 1962, asserting the firm resolve of the Indian people to drive out the Chinese “from the sacred soil of India’. The Chinese government published an article titled “again On Nehru’s Philosophy,” which became the manifesto for overthrowing the Congress rule in India. The two Asian giant’s enters an era of cold war. During the following decades, each side supported internal forces hostile to the other. While allowing the Tibetan separatist to carry out anti-Chinese activities on its soil, the Indian government opened official contact with the Chinese Nationalists in Taiwan. After the failure of Tibetan rebellion, the Dalai Lama established his governmentin- exile in North India and carried out separatist activities against China. Some Indian politicians supported the Dalai Lama’s advocacy of Tibet’s independence and even demanded that the Indian government reopen negotiation with China on the status of Tibet. The Chinese viewed all this as interfering in Chinese internal affairs and violating China’s national sovereignty. The Indian government went so far that Deputy Prime Minister Morarji Desai described Taiwan as an independent country” in September 1967. In August 1968, a U.N., sponsored conference was held in New Delhi. In his speech in the Indian parliament, Indian Minister of Education, Bhagwat Jha Azad openly called the People’s Republic of China “communist China’ and the Taiwan authorities “the Republic of China”. In 1968, the Taiwan authorities sent a delegate to the centenary celebration of the birth of Mahatma Gandhi organized by the Indian government. It was reported that the Taiwan delegate would also exchange views with the Indian leaders” In a bid to promote “close understanding [20]. The Chinese government not only encouraged the Naga and Mezo rebellions in India’s Northeastern, but also openly supported the Naxalbari movement to overthrow the Congress rule in India. Chinese media called India a semi-colonial and semi-feudal country and Naxalbari in the north of West Bengal was seen as an emergence of a “red area of revolutionary armed struggle, “and the Naxalbari uprising “the spring thunder of Indian revolution. “This overt and covert support continued until the late 1970’s when the thaw in Sino-Indian relations started. In 1967, Sino-Indian relation took a sharp turn for the worse when both sides expelled each other’s diplomats. On June 13, 1967, China announced the expulsion of the two Indian diplomats from Beijing on the charges of espionage activities. China also withdrew recognition of the diplomatic status of the second secretary in the Indian judicial organs tried him for the crime. A public trial was arranged for the Indian diplomats. In retaliation for the Chinese actions, the Indian government deprived the Chinese first secretary of the diplomatic status and deported him. The Chinese third secretary was also declared as persona non grata and was ordered to leave India within 72 hours. The Indian government even wired all its check posts and airports to see the Chinese third secretary did not escape and that if he went out of the Chinese embassy in New Delhi, he would be arrested and action would be taken against him. On June 16, some Chinese embassy personnel were assaulted and injured by Indian demonstrators in front of the Chinese embassy, then, China put the Chinese embassy under siege and the Red Guards blocked all the roads to the embassy. Indian police also encircled the Chinese embassy in New Delhi and the Indian government imposed restriction on persons entering and coming out of the embassy. The diplomatic crisis ended with the lifting of the sage of the two embassies by both sides respectively on June 20 and 21. This diplomatic crisis further poisoned the climate of Sino-Indian relations. Although no major armed clashes between India and China occurred after the 1962 border war, alleged incident of violation the line of actual control frequently took place and tension was kept simmering on the Sino-Indian border. According to the Chinese note to Indian dated January 18, 1965, during the second half of 1964, Indian troops made 24 intrusions into Chinese territory across the line of actual control or across the China-Sikkim border. On February 16, 1966, Chavan, Indian Defense Minister, informed the Look Sabha that, from December 1965 to January 1966, the Chinese had committed 27 violations, 19 of them in western sector, 4 in the eastern sector, 1 in the middle sector and 3 in the China-Sikkim border [21]. On September 11, 1967, an armed clash occurred at Nathula and another clash took place on October 1 at Cho La, resulting in casualties on both sides. In the two armed clashes, 88 Indians were killed and 163 wounded; and Chinese causalities were estimated to be 300 at Nathula and 40 at Cho La [21]. While upgrading conventional weapons, both china and India made efforts to develop their own nuclear capabilities. In October 1964, china successfully carried out its first atomic explosion. China’s acquisition of nuclear strength caused much anxiety and concern among Indian leaders. On November 23, during a debate of foreign affairs in Look Sabha, some members advocated an agreement of mutual security with United States and some other advocated such an arrangement with the Soviet Union. Some even suggested that they might have military bases in India as they had bases in Europe. The Indian government to change its nuclear policy and develop its own nuclear deterrent to China’s nuclear threat although the Indian government publically insisted on its policy of not developing nuclear weapons, the explosion of India’s first nuclear device in 1974 proved otherwise. As U.M.Trivedi, a parliamentary member from the Jan Sangh, stated, Indian nuclear power had been developed “for the purpose of terror meeting terror” [21]. Following the diplomatic storm created by the 1971 Indo-Pakistan war, political crises in Sikkim again put India and China in another diplomatic confrontation. Sikkim was a small Himalayan kingdom between China and India during the British rule in India. Under the Anglo-Chinese pact1890, Sikkim became a British protectorate. The British would intervene into Sikkim’s internal affairs but guided its external affairs. Under the Indo-Sikkimerse treaty signed in 1950, Sikkim became India’s protectorate and the Indian government was responsible for its external and defense affairs. During the fifth general elections in January 1973, Sikkim’s pro-Indian parties suffered a complete defeat and pro-Chogyal (The Chogyal was the title of the King of Sikkim. It is a Tibetan word and its literal meaning is King of religion) parties won a victory. The Chogyal’s advocacy for Sikkim’s independence further concerned the Indian government. After this general election, with the support of the Indian government, the opposition parties of Sikkim launched a country-wide agitation against the Chogyal of Sikkim and demanded that participation in Indian economic and political institutions. With the pretext of maintaining political stability, the Indian government sent its army to take over the responsibility of maintaining law and order in Sikkim. And Sikkim’s administration was also taken over by the Indian Political Officer in Gangtok. In September 1974, the Indian government made Sikkim an associate state of India by its Thirty-Sixth Constitutional Amendment. Finally, the Indian government formally announced Sikkim as its 22nd state on April 23, 1975 and completed the process of annexing Sikkim. The Chinese government accused India of taking over administration of Sikkim on April 12, 1973. 319 0n September 11, 1974, the Chinese government issued a statement condemning India for annexing Sikkim in a colonial way,” and declared that China absolutely would not recognize India’s annexation of Sikkim [22]. On April 29, 1975, the Chinese government stated that China would not recognize India’s illegal annexation of Sikkim and would firmly support the Sikkimese people in their just struggle for national independence and in defense of state sovereignty against Indian expansionism [23]. India’s annexation of Sikkim tied another knot in the Sino-Indian relations and made the Sino-Sikkimese border the Sino-Indian border which the Chinese government has never recognized. During the period of confrontation, China and India each held and projected the other in negative image. The Chinese viewed the Indian leaders as “expansionists” and “regional hegemonists,” while the Indians regarded the Chinese leaders as “aggressors” and China as the greatest threat to India’s security. All these international and bilateral factors created an atmosphere of the Sino-Indian cold war which has proved difficult to defrost [24].


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