Sunday, December 6, 2009

Sino-Indian Relations Redefined

  • Sino-Indian Relations Redefined
    tags: no_tag
    • By Seema Sengupta
    • After all Britain's sudden and explicit acceptance of Chinese sovereignty over Tibet has already put India, the largest Commonwealth member state, in a spot.

      Not many are aware of the fact that since the days of British imperialism, London has played a crucial coordinating role on the issue of Tibet having a stake in the region. Such is the secrecy that even the original map of the region has been marked classified and is out of bounds for common people.
    • One of them is Aksai Chin, part of the erstwhile Indian province of Kashmir that was annexed into the Xinjiang autonomous region by China in the 1950s.

      This huge tract of land was originally within the ambit of the Sikh Confederacy of the Punjab region in India until their defeat at the hands of the British Army in 1846. It is a sparsely inhabited desert area of salt flats situated about 5,000 meters above sea level that falls within the historical Kashmir-Tibet trade route.
    • The other dispute involves the Indian province of Arunachal Pradesh regarded by China as South Tibet. This region having references in Hindu scriptures is usually believed to have been a vassal state of Tibet.

      Some of the families living there retain their ancestral tax papers stamped by the Lhasa headquartered Tibetan government even today. Part of this territory was administered by the Bhutanese Kingdom and erstwhile Myanmar (Burma) till the complete annexation of India by the British in 1858.

      It was a gateway to Lhasa and an important trading route connecting Tibet to the nearest port at Kolkata. The sixth Dalai Lama was born in a place called Tawang in the northwestern part of the province and the problem of sovereignty lies with the Chinese claim over Tibet.
    • Now that London has suddenly shifted the goalposts virtually disowning the 1914 treaty due to geopolitical and economic considerations, New Delhi's claim over the north eastern territories is bound to be compromised.
    • Seema Sengupta is a journalist based in Kolkata, India. Her articles have been published by The Tribune, The Telegraph, The Pioneer, The Asian Age and other newspapers. She can be reached at

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