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India must learn lessons, face truths of 1962 China conflict

NEW DELHI -- Ever since the Treaty of Westphalia (1648) it has been universally accepted that a well-defined boundary is the first prerequisite of a modern state. Post-independence, the boundary issue between India and China assumes crucial significance and yet remains unresolved to this day. China claims to have resolved its border disputes with several countries, except India. Within this country, the popular perception is that it was wronged and that China was the aggressor in 1962. India lost disastrously and the effort to fix responsibility continues even 50 years after.

In China, the issue is peripheral. In its reckoning, the 1962 war was the consequence of India not accepting the truth about the border problem. As observed by Wang Hong Mei, the Indian government ought to re-educate the public about the basic cause of the dispute and correct the “truth of a twisted truth.”

In the 1914 Shimla convention between Britain and Tibet, the McMahon line was established as the official border between British India and China, denying Chinese suzerainty over Outer Tibet. However, McMahon was summoned to London as he had presented a different map to the Chinese representative. Britain distanced itself from the question of legitimacy of a well-settled border between India and Tibet. The British administrators ensured that its cartographers showed the McMahon line as the settled and legitimate border between the two countries.

On Oct. 29, 2008, David Miliband, the British foreign secretary in the Labour government, announced that the Shimla Accord of 1913, which led to the agreement between India and Tibet resulting in the promulgation of the McMahon line, was an anachronism and part of a colonial legacy. He apologized to China for the lapse. This announcement had the support of Lord Chris Patten, the last British Governor-General of Hong Kong, who described it as “quaint eccentricity.”

When India became independent, it inherited all the British territorial agreements, including the McMahon line, as the legitimate border since 1914. The then-prime minister, Jawaharlal Nehru, as the architect of India's foreign policy, refused to entertain the Chinese proposals for a negotiation in 1954. He argued that since the McMahon line marked the border between India and China, there was no need for negotiations on a settled issue. However, as Karunakar Gupta has pointed out, India has accepted the legitimacy of the McMahon line; China has not signed the Shimla convention and rejects any agreement between Tibet and Britain as it violates Chinese sovereignty over Tibet and that the Chinese stand is legitimate.

Gupta's perception is a classic example of two rights in the Hegelian sense. The Chinese position is consistent as both the two previous regimes, the imperial government and Chiang Kai-shek's regime, had also rejected the agreement. If the McMahon line is accepted as the border, it covers only the eastern sector of the border but not the western and central sectors.

According to AG Noorani, on July 1, 1955, Nehru shut the door to negotiations on the India-China boundary question. He rejected Zhou Enlai's proposal put forward on his visit to India in 1960 on the eastern border, accepting the McMahon line. India also refused to accept the actual line of control in the western sector ceding the Aksai Chin area to China. Nehru unilaterally drew the lines where the border was undefined and also ordered the destruction of the old maps.

December 8, 2012    srinv80@
During the conflict, every one likes to defend themselves by telling some thing in favor or throwing against the other party. The version what Chinese has written here, is theirs. If you come to India it's a different story. If you look at the high school text books it's a different story. One can't fade the truth by writing black lines against them. In History, no one ever conquered by Force, Military and Muscle (You can learn from Alexander the great, Japanese in WWII, Germany in WWII). Same is applicable to China. India has conquered much of Asia by its culture & the religions it gave it to the world. What Chinese are doing???? Having conflicts with many nations, it’s not good for any cause.
December 8, 2012    sing@
Stop talking out your butt, you attacked and occupied Tibet in 1959, and you thought you were invincible and try your chance at occupying India, but you were taught a lesson by India and pretend that you won.

After all you were completely occupied by the tiny nation of Japan and had to wait till 1997 for the Brits to hand you back Hong Kong as you were too cowardly to fight for independence.
December 10, 2012    michael2010@
China must be warned that India is a superpower and significant and relevant influence in the West. With India's military strategy matrix; 2nd largest modern, efficient and powerful Indian Army; 4th largest Indian Air Force admired throughout the world for its highly skilled pilots and efficiency; 5th largest blue water Indian Navy, China will be taught a big lesson not to dare have mischievous intentions and be assured that the 1962 event will never occur again. Thank you.
March 14, 2013    bddevkota211@
OK guys, u just defending yourself, how much India occupies the land of other neighboring countries.......some example u can get from Pakistan, Nepal, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka. You also must learn there are other countries also having super power.....even they can't lead the world what can your India lead in south Asia... your Indian army can...harm unarmed people and rob several things from the border...
August 21, 2013    subhashchandel09@
It was biggest mistake of Indian methodology to deal foreign policies. And as well as the preparation for Indian Military / security arms ignored by then leaders. Resulted, India lost its very big part to China. And our then Prime Minister just made his face regretful. It is well stated by Hon'ble ex-president of India Mr. Kalam "You can teach the lesson of PEACE to others if you are strong". Otherwise make noise to peace peace peace................... which could be meaningless. It is very well advised to our top leaders do not think for bribe just work for country. "SAVE THE INNOCENT PEOPLE" from foreign war attack. The people of India have the strength to get back the land from the other countries which was grabbed by the China & some part of Kashmir.
September 21, 2013    drch123@
China!
Tibet is not your cup of tea.
Some day you will have to pull you own legs from the area..
That is for sure.....
Remember... great rise has always a great fall.
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