|Map of Chinese claims of 1960|
On July 5, the two Special Representatives of India and China agreed that maintenance of peace and tranquillity in the India-China border areas was essential for the further development of the bilateral relations: “In this regard they further agreed that both sides should complete the ongoing disengagement process along the LAC expeditiously.”
The Statement further said: “The two Special Representatives agreed that both sides should take guidance from the consensus of the leaders that maintenance of peace and tranquillity in the India-China border areas was essential for the further development of our bilateral relations and that two sides should not allow differences to become disputes. Therefore, they agreed that it was necessary to ensure at the earliest complete disengagement of the troops along the LAC and de-escalation from India-China border areas for full restoration of peace and tranquillity.”
This will not fully change the situation on the ground and moreover, there is no doubt that China's mindset will remain expansionist and that the posts will be changed again, whenever it will suit Beijing.
In the present context, it is interesting to look at a small booklet released in January 1963 by the Publications Division of the Government of India; it contains a series of ten maps. The publication is called “Chinese Aggression in Maps.”
These maps are fascinating, especially after the unwarranted attack by the Chinese forces in Ladakh, particularly in Galwan, Hot Springs/Gogra and the Fingers area of Pangong tso (lake).
The Introduction de the booklet explains: “Brought together in this brochure are ten maps which graphically present the extent of the Chinese occupation of Indian territory through aggression from time to time; the fraudulent nature of the three-point proposal with which China launched a peace offensive after the large-scale invasion by Chinese forces on October 20, 1962; and the minimum condition which India has insisted on for the resumption of negotiations to settle the India-China boundary question.”
Most of the maps carry explanatory notes below.
It is a cartographic demonstration how Communist China has been changing the posts and will continue to change the posts.
The Historical Background
We have already dealt with this in previous posts.
The booklet's Introduction continued: “Falsehood and deception marked the Chinese Government's policy towards India till it culminated in the massive invasion of India's northern frontier, from Ladakh in the west to the North East Frontier Agency in the east, on October 20, 1962. A perusal of the maps printed in this brochure will make it clear that falsehood and deception are the warp and woof of the peace offensive with which China followed up its armed aggression.”
It further gave a historical background: “India was among the first countries to extend recognition to the People's Republic of China which came into being on October 1, 1949. In August 1950 when the forces of the People's Republic of China came into Tibet, the Government of China declared their willingness to solve the problem of Tibet by peaceful and friendly measures and their desire to "stabilise the China-India border". On receipt of this communication, the Government of India expressed their appreciation of the Chinese Government's intentions regarding Tibet and affirmed that ‘the recognised boundary between India and Tibet should remain inviolate’.”Delhi expounded its position further: “Close and friendly relations developed between the Government of India and the People's Republic of China in the subsequent years and on 29th April, 1954, the two Governments concluded an Agreement on Trade and Intercourse between Tibet and India under which India gave up ail extra-territorial rights and privileges enjoyed in Tibet, and recognised Tibet as a region of China.”
As our four volumes of the history of relations between India and Tibet have shown, that was pure folly, to give away the privileges without getting anything in return. But it was the Hindi-Chini bhai bhai days.
Already the Issue of the Maps
But already, the Chinese maps were showing large chunks of India’s territory; the 1963 booklet stated: “The question of Chinese maps which were showing an incorrect boundary alignment between India and China was raised by Prime Minister Nehru with Prime Minister Chou En-lai in October 1954 and again in November 1956. The Government of India were given to understand in October 1954 that the Chinese maps referred to by the Prime Minister of India were merely a reproduction of old Kuomintang maps and that the present Government had no time to revise them. In November 1956, Prime Minister Chou En-lai told the Indian Prime Minister that in the case of Burma, the Government of China bad accepted the formalisation of the boundary in 1914 (the McMahon Line) and proposed to recognise it with India also - that is the Eastern sector of the Indian alignment. Prime Minister Chou En-lai said he would consult the Tibetan authorities in this regard.”
The Aksai Chin Road
But China was not India’s friend or brother: “Surreptitious Chinese intrusions into Indian territory in Ladakh started in 1957. The clearing of the Aksai Chin Road was the first step. An Indian patrol party on its normal rounds was detained by the Chinese forces near Haji Langar in September 1958. The Government of India protested against this detention and also against the clearing of the motor road by the Government of China across the Aksai Chin area of Indian territory. These surreptitious intrusions continued in the Ladakh area and there were some other incidents between Indian patrols and the Chinese soldier. The Government of India, in the belief that these were instances of irresponsible behaviour of the Chinese local authorities, lodged protests against these intrusions and incidents.”
The fact that Delhi had been knowing for years about the Aksai Chin is not mentioned.
The Aggression Continues
The note however pointed out: “In September 1959, the Government of China, for the first time, laid a formal claim to 50,000 square miles of Indian territory in Ladakh and in the North East Frontier Agency. This led to exchange of communications at a high level, between the two Prime Ministers. The two Prime Ministers met in Delhi in 1960, and this was followed by the meeting between officials of the two sides in pursuance of the decision taken at the meeting of the two Prime Ministers. Further intrusions by the Chinese, however, continued. By 1961, the Government of India considered it necessary, in view of progressive Chinese intrusions, to take limited defence measures to contain these surreptitious Chinese advances into Indian territory.”
That was the beginning of the Forward Policy, but it was far too late, as India had occupying most of the Aksai Chin area of Ladakh.
The Final Blow
The Indian note nonetheless added: “Foiled in their attempt to take over further Indian territory in Ladakh, the Chinese started further aggression in the Eastern sector of the India-China boundary in the NEFA region on 8th September 1962. After a couple of probing attacks, Chinese forces mounted a carefully prepared and well-planned all-out attack on 20th October 1962 on Indian defence forces in the Eastern as well as Western sectors of the India-China border. Having acquired, as a result of their initial successes, a further slice of about 2,500 square miles of Indian territory, the Chinese Government started their first peace offensive-the Chinese three point proposal--on 24th October. When India refused to accept the military dictates of the aggressor, the Chinese, after re-group ing and further preparations, mounted another massive offensive from 15th to 19th November, 1962. On the morning of 21st November, the Chinese started their second peace offensive with the same object of retaining the gains of their calculated and cold blooded aggression-the so-called unilateral cease-fire and withdrawal proposals of 21st November, 1962.”
Wedded to Peace??
The conclusion was that “The Government and people of India are, by their history and tradition, wedded to the ways of peace. They have always been and are in favour of peaceful settlement of differences between nations. Peace and peaceful settlements can, however, be pursued only on the basis of decency, dignity and self-respect. It would be fatal to compromise with aggression or submit to the military dictates of the aggressor. The first essential before we can revert to paths of peace and peaceful settlements is the undoing of all the consequences of aggression. This means that at least the status quo as it prevailed before the latest Chinese aggression started on 8th September, 1962, should be restored.”
It will never be.
Map No 2
We shall just look at Map No 2 ('Line Separating Indian and Chinese Forces on September 7, 1962'), as it shows how China has always changed the posts.
The caption said: “This map depicts the three lines which have figured most prominently in the correspondence between the Governments and Prime Ministers of India and China after the massive invasion of India which was launched by Chinese forces on October 20, 1962."
The November 1959 Line
The first line shows the disposition of Chinese posts in Ladakh in November 1959.
The captions says: "It will be seen that at that time there was strictly speaking no ‘line of control’ but only a series of Chinese posts on Indian territory.”This line joined the then Chinese posts at Spanggur Post, Khurnak Fort, Kongka Pass and Shamallungpa and ran northward, past Haji Langar, to join the Aksai Chin Road.
Another shows the line of contact between Indian and Chinese forces immediately prior to September 8, 1962, the date on which Chinese forces invaded Indian territory in the Eastern sector also. India has made the reasonable proposal that there should be a restoration of the positions along this line as the minimum condition for resumption of negotiations with China.
Finally, another line showed the limits of the further area occupied by Chinese forces after the massive aggression which they launched against India, both in the Western and Eastern sectors on October 20, 1962. China now falsely claims that this was the line of actual control by Chinese forces in November 1959. …The area between the September 7, 1962, line and the 'line of actual control of 1959' as falsely claimed by China represents the further aggrandisement of Indian territory by China as a result of its latest aggression. India insists that this area of further aggression should be vacated by the Chinese and the position of the Indian and Chinese forces prior to 8th September restored, before there can be a resumption of negotiations to settle the India-China boundary problem.
|Chinese map showing the correct alignment in Galwan area|
Today’ s Situation
Since the beginning of May, China has been trying to change the posts again, mainly in three places, namely, Galwan, Hot Spring and the Fingers areas of Pangong tso (lake).
Let us look at Galwan first.
According to Chinese maps, the Chinese claims stops some 10 kilometers from the confluence of the Galwan and the Shyok rivers.
The above map is very clear.
Now, China would like to annex the Indian territory till the confluence. There is no historical justification to this, but strategically, it will allow the People's Liberation Army (PLA) to obstruct the new 220-km long road between Darbuk-Shyok-DBO ( Daulat Beg Oldie ) which is to reduce the travel time between Leh to DBO from 2 days to 6 hours.
Another Chinese map shows a similar alignment
During the 1960 meetings' of the Officials, China defined its 'perception' of the boundary.
At that time, nobody was speaking of Line of Actual Control (LAC).
India asked: "The Indian side would like to have some heights of peaks and location
of passes on this particular ridge."
India asked: "The Indian side would like to have some heights of peaks and location
of passes on this particular ridge."
"From 78° 5' East, the line turned south-west to a point Long. 78° l' E. and Lat. 35° 21' N., where it crossed the Chip Chap river. After this, it turned south east along' the mountain ridge and passed through two peaks Peak 6845 metres and Peak 6598 metres. The co-ordinates of Peak 6845 M were Long. 78° 12' E, Lat. 34° 57' N. The co-ordinates of Peak 6598 M were Long. 68° 13' E., Lat. 34° 54' N. After the alignment passed over the two peaks, it went south along the mountain ridge, where it crossed the Galwan river at Long. 78° 13' E, Lat. 34. 46' N. It then passed over Peak 6556 M and followed the watershed between the Khugrang Tsangpo river and its tributary the Changlung river, crossed the Changlung river at Long. 78° 53' E, Lat. 34° 22' N, and reached the Kongka Pass."
In Galvan area, the point which has been reported on the map below. It corresponds with the Indian alignment; the small difference is due to the poor surveying tools at that time.
|Google Map with the Chinese claims of 1960 in Galwan area|
Chinese logic: by advancing the line towards the confluence with the Shyok, China would have had the perfect position for its howitzers to destroy the new road, when required...
Hot Spring/Gogra Area
The second site of Chinese intrusions is Hot Spring/Gogra area.
Like Galwan it was not a disputed place earlier.
The coordinates given by the Chinese in 1960 correspond to the Indian position, it is therefore clearly a new front opened by China with no historical basis.
Strategically, it allows China to block rear reinforcements to reach Galwan.
The entire operation seems to have been planned to open more disputed places in Ladakh and protect these areas.
|Google Map with the Chinese claims of 1960 in Hot Spring area|
Fingers at the Pangong tso (lake)
The third location of intrusions is the Fingers area on the northern bank of the Pangong tso.
Here too Chinese maps tally with the Indian position.
The reluctance of the Chinese to vacate the area from finger 4 to 8, has to historical sanction.
This map was published in the 1980s in Lhasa by the Communist government.
It shows clearly that the line crosses the lake in the east of the Fingers and Sirijap.
|Chinese map showing the correct alignment in Pangong tso area|
Same remark for the previous Chinese map.
|Enlarged Chinese claims of 1960|
When one enlarges the 1960 posted above, it is more difficult to say where exactly passes the Chinese claim line, but it is certainly east of the Fingers.
This map of StratNews Global (below) shows the approximate location of the Indian LAC.
It tallies with the above Chinese maps, therefore China should have no claim from Finger 4 to 8.But today, Beijing is ready to fight a war for areas that it did not even claim before.
It is called wild expansionism.
|The Fingers and Sirijap areas|
One can only conclude that China has always changed the posts, at least since 1949, when Mao decided to annex Xinjiang (Eastern Turkestan).
India is paying today for the inaction and acquiescent attitude of the Indian government then.
It is a fact that tears after years the line has moved; it keep moving even today.
Even if Beijing accepts a disengagement today or tomorrow and partially withdraw to its April position, it will have opened new fronts in Ladakh, new 'disputed' places which were non existing earlier.
Some mad generals in Chengdu will have to be seriously reigned in by the Communist Party in Beijing if China wants to regain a semblance of trust from India's part.