|Arunachal according to China|
Why is it in a separate colour? Why to differentiate it from the rest of Arunachal?
In the east (Myanmar), the caption is 野人山地区 (mountainous area inhabited by savages).
Can you believe?
It is a Chinese map published by China Tibet Online, a subsidiary of Xinhua news agency.
Apart from that, the way the Chinese can grab territory, even remotely (or not at all) connected with the Middle Kingdom, is indeed amazing!
China Tibet Online gives us what it calls 'fast facts on controversial Arunachal Pradesh'.
The map with China's 'original borner (sic)' is attached to an article affirming: "The recent Indian President's visit to the so-called Arunachal Pradesh has triggered the controversial discussion of border issue between China and India again."
Xinhua had earlier reported that China urged India "to refrain from moves that complicates boundary issues and work with China to create conditions for talks. Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang made the comment when asked about Indian President Pranab Mukherjee's visit to the so-called Arunachal Pradesh from Nov. 29 to 30."
Beijing's spokesperson added: "China's stance on the disputed area on the eastern part of the China-India border is consistent and clear."
What is 'clear' for China, is utter confusion for an external witness.
China Tibet Online tries to explain: "The so-called 'Arunachal Pradesh' was established largely on the three areas of China's Tibet -- Monyul, Loyul and Lower Tsayul currently under Indian illegal occupation. These three areas, located between the illegal 'Mcmahon [McMahon] Line' and the traditional customary boundary between China and India, have always been Chinese territory."
That is wrong 'fast facts'!
Then the website gives a lesson of History:
In 1914, the colonialists secretly contrived the illegal 'Mcmahon Line' in an attempt to incorporate into India the above-mentioned three areas of Chinese territory. None of the successive Chinese governments have ever recognized this line. In February 1987, Indian authorities declared the founding of the so-called 'Arunachal Pradesh'.
|McMahon Line signed by the British |
and Tibet Plenipotentiaries in 1914
It is only after invading Tibet in 1950, that the Communist regime in Beijing began bothering about the border with India. In 1914, their worry was only the undemarcated Sino-Tibetan border in the East.
What is interesting is that China speak of "three areas of China's Tibet -- Monyul, Loyul and Lower Tsayul currently under Indian illegal occupation."
The mere fact that Beijing has to constantly mention 'China's Tibet' is an indirect admission that they are not very sure of their own claim on 'Tibet'.
Does Delhi speaks of India's Kerala or India's Uttarakhand or even India's Kashmir?
These States are integral part of India and do not need constant labeling as part of the Indian State.
It is true that the 3 mentioned areas (Moyul, Loyul and Tsayul), respectively connected with Tawang, Upper Subansiri and Lohit had close cultural and trade links with Tibet in the past. But there was no Tibetan presence in these areas (it seems that China's criteria for claiming territory is 'Tibetan presence' in an area).
Though the local dialect of some areas south of the McMahon Line has close affinity with Tibetan, Monpa, Memba or other tribal languages from Arunachal are different from classical Tibetan. The same remark is valid for Ladakh, Kinnaur, Lahaul, Spiti or some areas inhabited by Bhotias in Uttarakhand and Sikkim.
Does the 'Tibetan influence' in Ladakh make the region part of the People's Republic of China.
If one goes by Beijing's logic, it does!
|Pockets (yellow dotted line) of 'Tibetan influence' in Nefa (Government of India - 1945)|
As can be seen, the pockets of 'influence' are very small and limited. Very often, for example in the Siang valley (Jido on the map), the 'Tibetan influence' was limited to occasional raids by the Tibetan Dzongpen from the other side of the border. The purpose of these raids was 'tax-collection'; the local tribes were terrified and had to request the British APOs (Assistant Political Officer) in Balipara or Sadya Frontier Tracks to protect them.
In the 1930s and 1940s, Assam Rifles posts were progressively set up and raids could be stopped. In any case, the Chinese were nowhere to be seen.
I dealt at great length on the subject in my book 1962: The McMahon Line Saga.
Even small areas like Pachakshiri (today Menchuka and Manigong) were 'mixed'; local Adi tribes represented about half of the population while Membas (a Tibetan 'influenced' tribe) makes the other half.
During my recent visit to Menchuka, I could verify this fact.
Once again, 'influence' mainly means that the populations are Buddhist, owe their religious allegiance to the Dalai Lama or other Tibetan High Lamas and their language is a dialect from the Tibetan.
That is not a proof of 'ownership'.
Ma Zhaoxu, former spokesman of the Foreign Ministry of China, told China Tibet Online: "The repeated visits by Indian leaders can make others believe the area is part of India and solidify the existing strategies they have applied to control the area, such as using administrative jurisdiction in the area and courting sympathy from the international community."
Visits or no visit, Arunachal is a very important part of the Indian State and will remain so. President Mukherjee was right to reiterate the obvious.
One question: why has China shown Tawang with a separate colour (green) on their map?
One answer is that Tawang would probably satisfy the Chinese appetite ...for now.
Unfortunately for them, the people of Tawang are very happy to be Indians and specially after 1962 conflict, they are extremely proud to belong to the Indian nation and ready to fight for Bharat.