Monday, September 10, 2007


Main articles: Sino-Indian relations and Origins of the Sino-Indian border dispute Background
The western portion of the Sino-Indian boundary originates in 1834, with the Sikh Confederation's conquest of Ladakh

The Johnson Line

Main article: McMahon LineSino-Indian War The McMahon Line

Main article: Events leading to the Sino-Indian War Events leading up to war
The 1940s saw huge change in South Asia with the creation of the Republic of India and the separate Islamic Republic of Pakistan in 1947, and the establishment of the People's Republic of China in 1949. One of the most basic policies for the new Indian government was that of maintaining cordial relations with China, reviving its ancient friendly ties.

Tibet controversy
Various border conflicts and "military incidents" between India and China flared up throughout the summer and fall of 1962. In May, the Indian Air Force was told not to ready itself for war, although it was assessed as being a feasible way to repel the unbalanced ratio of Chinese to Indian troops. Early incidents
In June 1962, Indian forces established an outpost at Dhola, on the southern slopes of the Thag La Ridge.

Confrontation at Thag La

Preparations for war
Two of the of the major factors leading up to China's eventual conflicts with Indian troops were India's stance on the disputed borders, and perceived Indian subversion Tibet.

The Indian side was confident war would not be triggered and made little preparations. India had only two divisions of troops in the region of the conflict.

Military planning
On October 20, 1962, the Chinese People's Liberation Army launched two attacks, 1000 kilometers apart. In the eastern theater, the PLA sought to expel Indian forces from the Chip Chap valley in Aksai Chin while in the western theater, the PLA sought to capture both banks of the Namka Chu river. Some skirmishes also took place at the Nathula Pass, which is in Sikkim, a protectorate of India at that time. Gurkha rifles travelling north were targeted by Chinese artillery fire.

Chinese offensive
Chinese troops launched an attack on the southern banks of the Namka Chu River on October 20.

Eastern theater
On the Aksai Chin front, China already controlled much of the disputed territory. However, some areas in which the Chinese claimed de facto control still had remnants of Indian troops.
Indian forces were hampered by their significant inferiority in numbers and lack of combat readiness. The Indian deployment covered a large area and Indian units required an airlift for more supplies. The Indian jawans were not effectively ready for such mountain conflict. Nonetheless, they generally defended their posts professionally in the early phase of the war until their commanders were replaced on government orders.

Western theater
By October 24th, the PLA had entered territory previously administered by India to give the PRC a diplomatically strong position over India. The majority of Chinese forces had advanced sixteen kilometres south of the border. Lull in the fighting
After Zhou received Nehru's letter of defiance, the war restarted. The fighting resumed on the eastern theater on November 14th (Nehru's birthday), with an Indian offensive on Walong launched from the defensive position of Se La. The Indian aim was to recapture a strategic mountain held by the Chinese. Initial fighting was successful, however the exhausted Indians stopped just 50 meters away from the crest.

Continuation of war
On the eastern theater, the PLA attacked Indian forces near Se La and Bomdi La on November 17th. These positions were defended by the Indian 4th Division. Instead of attacking by road as expected, PLA forces approached via a mountain trail, and their attack cut off a main road and isolated 10,000 Indian troops. Nonetheless, the remaining division of Indians who were in a suitable position to battle at the Bailey Trail fought for three hours and inflicted heavy Chinese casualties.

Eastern theater
On the western theatre, PLA forces launched a heavy infantry attack on November 18 near Chushul. Their attack started at 4:35 am, despite a mist surrounding most of the areas in the region.

Western theater
The Chinese government claims the PLA penetrated close to the outskirts of Tezpur, Assam, a major frontier town nearly fifty kilometers from the Assam-North-East Frontier Agency border. On the evening of November 20, Nehru made an appeal to the United States for armed aid, including airstrikes, if Chinese forces continued to advance, and air cover, in case of raids by the Chinese air force. With the Chinese outnumbering every Indian division and facing the idea of a bombing on Indian towns, the United States Navy ordered an aircraft carrier to the Bay of Bengal due to reach there in late November.

United States intervention
Due either to logistical problems (according to official Indian accounts) or for political reasons, the PLA did not advance farther, and on November 19 it declared a unilateral cease-fire. Zhou Enlai declared a unilateral ceasefire to start on midnight, November 21. Zhou's ceasefire declaration stated,
Beginning from November 21, 1962, the Chinese frontier guards will cease fire along the entire Sino-Indian border. Beginning from December 1, 1962, the Chinese frontier guards will withdraw to positions 20 kilometers behind the line of actual control which existed between China and India on November 7, 1959. In the eastern sector, although the Chinese frontier guards have so far been fighting on Chinese territory north of the traditional customary line, they are prepared to withdraw from their present positions to the north of the illegal McMahon Line, and to withdraw twenty kilometers back from that line. In the middle and western sectors, the Chinese frontier guards will withdraw twenty kilometers from the line of actual control.
Zhou had first given the ceasefire announcement to Indian charge d'affaires on November 19, (before India's request for United States air support) but New Delhi did not receive it until 24 hours later.

The Chinese military action has been viewed by the United States as part of the PRC's policy making of using aggressive wars to settle its border disputes and to distract from its internal issues.

World opinion

According to the PLA's official military history, the war achieved China's policy objectives of defeating the Indian forces and securing peaceful borders in the western sector, as China retained de facto control of the Aksai Chin. After the war, India abandoned the Forward Policy, and the de facto borders stabilized along the Line of Actual Control.
The war was followed by a campaign praising the army called "learn from the People's Liberation Army." The campaign helped promote War Minister Lin Biao, Mao's favoured successor at the time.

Sino-Indian War China
Indians reacted with an unprecedented surge of patriotism. Memorials were erected for many of the Indian troops who died while outnumbered in the war. The memorials say of the soldiers:
The main lesson India learned was that India must strengthen its defences and stand on its own feet to be of consequence in the world. India could no longer blindly follow Nehru's trusting polemics of "Hindi-Chini bhai-bhai" and non-violent peace. Because of India's inability to sense danger, Prime Minister Nehru faced harsh accusations from government officials, as he was the one who promoted good relations with China.


Main articles: Sino-Indian relations, Chola incident, Naxalbari, and 1987 Sino-Indian skirmish Later skirmishes
In 1993 and 1996, the two sides signed the Sino-Indian Bilateral Peace and Tranquility Accords, an agreement to maintain peace and tranquility along the Line of Actual Control (LoAC). Ten meetings of a Sino-Indian Joint Working Group (SIJWG) and five of an expert group have taken place to determine where the LoAC lies, but little progress has occurred. Recently, during the visit of Chinese Prime Minister to India, China recognised the territory of Sikkim and Assam


The China-India Border War, 1988 by James Barnard Calvin
Gunnar Myrdal. Asian Drama; An Inquiry into the Poverty of Nations. New York: Random House, 1968
History of the Conflict with China, 1962. P.B. Sinha, A.A. Athale, with S.N. Prasad, chief editor, History Division, Ministry of Defence, Government of India, 1992. - Official Indian history of the Sino-Indian War.
中印边疆自卫反击作战史/Zhong yin bianjiang ziwei fanji zuozhanshi (also spelt Zhong-Yin Bian Jie Zhi Zhan Li Shi Zhen Xiang (History of the Sino-India Border Self Defensive War), Beijing: Junshi kexue chubanshe, 1993. Also quoted written by Xu Yan and published by Tian Di Publishing Co.[23] - Official People's Liberation Army history of the Sino-Indian war.
Allen S. Whiting. The Chinese Calculus of Deterrence: India and Indochina.

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