Monday, December 2, 2013

The so-called Chinese claims on Arunachal

Arunachal according to China
Look at this map: in the left corner between Bhutan and the rest of Arunachal, there is dark green patch, corresponding more or less to the Tawang district.
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
The exchange of maps during the Simla Convention was perfectly legal and binding on the 2 parties (India and Tibet). Though present at the Convention, Ivan Chen, the Chinese Plenipotentiary was not interested by the Indo-Tibetan border; he did not interfere or object to what Beijing calls today the 'colonialist' Line.
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)
I recently came across an interesting map prepared by the Government of India in 1945 about 'Tibetan influence' in NEFA (now Arunachal Pradesh).
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.


Vijay Taram said...

it was never "menchuka" for the Adi tribes (Bori, Bokar, Pai Libo, Ramo) those sub tribes of the Adi tribe inhabiting Mechuka and Manigong areas. It was always Mechuka and it shall always be Mechuka. The inclusion of the letter N in between shall always invite a conflict between the Two tribes i.e the Adis and the Membas which has only recently been done by the present MLA of the Mechuka region who happens to be from a different tribe or as commonly called as a memba tribe.
I would best suggest to write it the way it was, is and shall always be. The inclusion of The letter N has been opposed by the Adi tribes living in that area always. It may be viewed as a conspiracy to instill hatred among two tribes is what I percieve.
And regarding the invasion of the South Tibet King representative to the areas of the Upper Siang valley to collect tax in the form of Dried Meat, Millet grains, Maize corns is a fact which our forefathers have passed down to the Gen next. The trade relations were basically about the Sale of the Now very precious beads, salt and some jackets.
But the Upper Siang valley of being terrified and approaching the APO shall also be a distortion of the valour and courage of our fore fathers once again.
Whereas, the Adis fought back fiercely with the South Tibet King twice and defeated twice. So after the second defeat only, it was agreed by both parties that there shall no more be any tax collections.
No one has any knowledge of approaching the APO for help or whatever, it was the Indian Military in the form of the Assam Rifles that set up a post at Karko village in 1944.
So, in all ways, we would not like anyone to distort the rich history of our valiant sons of the Adi soil.

Anonymous said...

original borner or border?