Sino-Indian relations suffer from dormant problems under the ashes, which announce themselves from time to time, and at the forefront of these problems the dispute stands on border areas, which both countries claim ownership of.
The main dispute between China and India revolves around the non-demarcation of their borders that extend over four thousand kilometers.
On the one hand, India confirms that China occupies 38 thousand square kilometers of its lands in Aksayyin and Sikkim.
While Beijing hopes that India will abandon Arunachal Pradesh in northeast India, which has an area of about 90 thousand square kilometers.
The length of the border between India and China is more than 3440 km (2100 miles), and some lands that the two countries claim sovereignty overlap, and the border patrols often clash with each other, which leads to transient clashes, but the two sides insist that the forces did not exchange one shot since four Decades.
The armies of the two countries, which are one of the largest armies in the world, meet at several points, separating the clearly defined “actual control line” between the two sides, and the rivers, lakes, and ice caps cause the separation line between the two sides from time to time, which brings the soldiers closer to confrontation directly.
The aggravation of this dispute led to the outbreak of military confrontations between the Chinese and Indian armies in 1962, so what were the stages of this conflict since they erupted between them?
Who has bombed the issue now in these circumstances that the world is going through?
The border region between China and India witnessed new skirmishes between the border guards of the two countries, in the first week of May last, because of the Chinese army’s objection to the Indian forces patrolling the border region of Ladakh.
The tension began with a quarrel between the soldiers, and the Chinese soldiers arrested members of the Indian army before they were released later.
In the aftermath, the commander-in-chief of the Indian Land Forces, General Manoj Mukund Naravan, visited the area, and the army moved infantry battalions to the border, at a time when the Chinese army set up several tents near the Galvan Valley.
The Chinese Foreign Ministry said earlier that Indian soldiers are blocking patrols and carrying out operations of Chinese border guards in Ladakh region.
“The situation is serious,” said Ajay Shukla, an Indian military expert who previously served as colonel.
The Chinese have entered a region they themselves recognized as part of China.
This completely changes the status quo.
But China has a different view, saying that it is India who changed the situation on the ground.
Why are tensions escalating now?
The reasons are multiple, but competition for the achievement of strategic goals is the root of these causes, and both sides blame the other.
Shukla says: “The valley of the Gallowan Valley, which was peaceful in the past, has now become the focus of conflict, because it is the point at which the very actual line of control approaches the new road that India built along the Sheuk River to the region of Dulet Big Olde, which is the farthest and weakest area along the actual line of control In for”.
“India’s decision to speed up construction work has angered Beijing.
The Global Times, which is run by the Chinese government categorically, said, The Gallowan Valley is Chinese territory, and the local situation of border control is very clear.
Dr. Long Shengshun, president of the Chengdu Institute for World Affairs (CIWA) says: “According to the Chinese army, it is India who stormed the Gallowan Valley.
So India is the one who changed the status quo along the actual line of control, and this has angered the Chinese”.
“This confrontation is not a routine confrontation,” said Michael Kugelman, deputy director of the Asia Program at the Wilson Center for Research.
“China’s deployment of a large number of soldiers is a show of strength”.
The road may enhance Delhi’s ability to quickly transport men and materials in the event of a conflict, and differences have increased between the two countries over the past year in other political areas as well, while India made a controversial decision to end the limited self-management of the Jammu and Kashmir provinces in August of the year In the past, it has also redrawed the map of the region, and the Federal District of New Ladakh, which is administered by the federal government, included the Aksai Chen region, claimed by India and controlled by China.
The disputed areas between the two countries
Arunachal Pradesh Plateau: A border region, located at the crossroads between China and the Kingdom of Bhutan and the state of Sikkim, which is located in north-eastern India.
Bhutan and India call the region the Duclam Plateau, while China calls it “southern Tibet” and asserts that it is part of its territory.
India supports Bhutan’s demands for sovereignty over the region, and says that China occupies large parts of it.
Bhutan is a small country located at the eastern end of the Himalayas, does not have any diplomatic relations with China with which it communicates through its embassy in India, and considers that “Duclam” a disputed territory.
Although the disputed “Duclam” region is not part of India and does not claim it, it affirms that the Bhutan government asked it to intervene on its behalf, and the region is considered of strategic importance for Indian national security, so Beijing’s control over it would facilitate Chinese forces easy access to The Siliguri Corridor connecting the states of North and East India with the rest of the country, according to the China and Asia Study Center.
Aksay Chen: A disputed area between the two sides west of the Himalayas, with an area of about 38 thousand square kilometers, which is almost empty of the population, and contains many salt lakes.
The region is under the control of China, which it considers part of the Xinjiang region, and India is still claiming the region and considers it part of the Ladakh region in Jammu and Kashmir.
The fate of the Indian state of Arunachal Pradesh is the most dangerous point of confrontation.
The region was annexed to Indian territory during the British colonial era, but after China and India gained their independence in the late 1940s, they demanded sovereignty over the region.
The conflict was exacerbated in 1959 when the Dalai Lama, the spiritual leader of the Tibet region, sought refuge in India from the Chinese authorities.
In 1962, the war broke out between China and India, and the latter suffered a severe defeat.
Another confrontation erupted between the two countries in 1987, when the Indian government dubbed the “state” of the Arunachal Pradesh region, which angered Beijing and warned of war, before the two sides reached a diplomatic solution.
Historic stops in the conflict
In 1826 it included the British East India Company “Assam” and gradually expanded British influence to the North East Territory of India.
In 1912, the province now called “Arunachal Pradesh” became an administrative unit within Assam, and it was called the North-Eastern Frontier Province.
In 1914, the representatives of the Republic of China, Tibet and Britain negotiated and reached a treaty in India called the Simla Agreement for Demarcating the Borders between Inner and Foreign Tibet, as well as between Tibetan and British India.
China refused to demarcate Tibet’s external borders, and its delegate withdrew, so the British and Tibetan commissioners attached a memorandum depriving China of any concessions under the agreement, and closed as a bilateral agreement.
In 1950 India began to claim the disputed territories, on the basis of the Simla Agreement.
However, China rejected the Indian demands, and said that Tibet was never an independent country, and therefore was unable to sign a treaty on behalf of Beijing to set international borders, adding that as long as it had sovereignty over Tibet, the agreement was not valid without Chinese approval.
In 1960, officials from India and China held discussions to settle the border dispute between them, based on an agreement between the two prime ministers, Jawaharlal Nehru and Cho Inlay.
Countries differed on major watersheds in the western sector of the border.
In 1962, China occupied parts of Arunachal Pradesh, and the Sino-Indian War erupted.
India suffered a severe defeat, and despite that, it retained the mandate after the Chinese forces withdrew from it amid international pressure.
In 1986, there were border clashes, and the two parties entered into negotiations to resolve these differences and to determine the border line between them, without reaching a result.
In 1987, the confrontation raged between the two countries when the government in New Delhi called the “state” of the Arunachal Pradesh region, becoming the Indian state number (29), and this angered Beijing and warned of war, before the two parties reached a diplomatic solution that prevented it.
In 1996, a dispute settlement agreement was concluded, including “confidence-building measures” and a mutually agreed monitoring line.
In 2006, both countries claimed incursions of up to one kilometer into the Arunachal Pradesh region, leading to tension and mutual accusations.
In 2009 India announced that it would deploy additional military forces along the border.
In 2013, India said that Chinese forces had set up a camp 10 kilometers from its eastern border, and said that the incursion included Chinese military helicopters entering Indian airspace, but Beijing denied this. Soldiers from both countries deployed to the border for a whole month, before they all withdrew.
In 2014, New Delhi suggested that China recognize the “one India” policy for resolving the border dispute.
In 2015, Chinese and Indian forces in the Portsea region, north of Ladakh, after Indian forces dismantled an observation tower built by China near the agreed military patrol line between the two countries.
In June 2017, the two sides increased their forces to 3,000 each, when Indian soldiers objected to the Chinese army building a road in a disputed area.
On July 23, 2017, China asked its neighbor to withdraw its forces from the Chinese part of the border strip between them, and Ministry of Defense spokesman Wu Qian said that New Delhi should take practical steps to correct the mistake, stop provocations and work together for the stability and security of the region, and warned against underestimating the capabilities of the army The Chinese stressed that his ability to defend sovereignty was constantly enhanced.
On July 24, 2017, China accused its neighbor of violating a border agreement that Britain concluded with Beijing in 1890 and earlier Indian governments pledged to respect.
The Chinese government has called on its Indian counterpart to respect the border agreement to end a “very dangerous” incursion by Indian forces.
In mid-June 2019, China sent soldiers to protect construction work in the disputed Duclam region, to build a border road.
India retaliated by deploying military forces that prevented the completion of the project, and justified this by allowing construction of the road to make it easier for Chinese to reach sensitive areas.
Beijing accused the Indian forces of having crossed the Chinese border, and demanded the Ministry of Defense India to withdraw its forces and warned against underestimating the capabilities of its army, stressing that its ability to defend sovereignty.
Will it evolve?
What is its danger?
- Stupdan, a former Indian diplomat and expert on Ladak and Indo-Chinese relations, says: “We often see the two armies routinely cross the actual line of control, as this is common and is being resolved at the local military level.
But we are witnessing this time the largest troop build-up.
The confrontation is located in important strategic areas of India, and if the Pangong Lake falls into the grip of China, India cannot defend Ladakh.
If India allows the Chinese army to settle in the strategic Sheuk Valley, the Chinese forces can reach the Nubra Valley and even Siachen”.