India China Conflict: History and Future Expectations

India China Conflict: History and Future expectations

India China, after agreeing to end the current conflict peacefully, still a roar of tension, and conflict can be heard from the Himalayas. Indian Air Force jets are flying at the border area, possibly to show the military strength of the Indian forces. On the other hand, sources say that Chinese troops are still present on the Indian side. To further understand the issue and future possibilities, let’s look back to the history of India China conflicts.

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Nehru 1959 visit to Beijing

In 1914, the representatives from British India, China, and Tibet gathered at the Simla valley, now occupied by India, to talk and negotiate on the treaty that would settle the border conflict.

The Chinese didn’t agree to the treaty and refused to sign because of the terms that would have allowed Tibet to remain autonomous and under Chinese control. Whereas, British and Tibet have signed the deal and agreed upon the border known as McMahon line, named against the British official “Henry McMahon”. He was the one who proposed the border.

China never recognized this boundary and claim 90,000 km2 of territory, almost the whole of Arunachal Pradesh territory of India.

This dispute first flared up in 1959, when Jawaharlal Nehru, first Prime Minister of India, visited Beijing.

When shown an official Chinese map, Nehru questioned about the McMahon line, on which Chinese premier said that they don’t recognize the colonial frontier.

Sino-India War in 1962

The 4 weeks long war between India and China, which took the lives of 1000s of Indian troops.

After Beijing withdrew from the Indian side, it retained the Aksai Chin territory, which links Tibet to Western China.

India still claims Shaksgam valley in Northern Kashmir and Aksai Chin.

Nathula Conflict, 1967

Nathula is a flashpoint. Its India’s highest mountain at Northeastern Sikkim state. Nathula is between Bhutan, Nepal, and Tibet (China).

In 1967 conflict, Delhi said that 80 Indian soldiers have died and 400 Chinese were dead.

Tulung La Ambush, 1975

At this conflict, four Indian soldiers killed at the dividing line in Arunachal Pradesh.

Reportedly, this was the last time that the bullet was shot at this border.

Doklam Plateau standoff, 2017

Indian Army sent troops to stop the construction of the road by China in Doklam.

Doklam gives China access to the thin strip so-called “Chicken’s neck” – which connects Northern areas of India with the rest of the country. The issue has resolved after the talks.

Ladakh confrontation, 2020

It was the first combat after 1975.

In early May 2020, several Chinese and Indian troops injured due to the fistfight on the Sikkim border.

Chinese troops, within days, encroached the area over the LAC in Ladakh region. Despite the satellite pictures confirming the encroachment, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has denied the fact that Chinese troops have crossed the border.

On the 16th of June 2020, India said that 20 of its soldiers have been killed in Galwan valley Himalayan frontier a day earlier.

Beijing accepted that it had casualties but gave no further details.

High-level Army commanders from both sides met to resolve the issue and agreed to withdraw from the taken positions peacefully.

What is expected of the future?

By looking at the current and past issues, the Asian region will be the future conflict zone. The United States of America is using its allies to destabilize Chinese growth under the OBOR initiative.

Furthermore, India is the strong ally of America in this region. America can probably stop China to become a global economic and military power by engaging it with India, at the economic front, and as well as the military front.

India has reservations on China’s increasingly dominant presence in the Indian ocean. Also, China, on the other side, has strong trade and to some extent defense relations with Indian neighbors i.e., Bangladesh, Nepal, Bhutan, and of course Pakistan.

India felt threatened by China and is working on increasing its military power. The purchase of the S400 missile defense system from Russia and Rafale Jets from France are examples. It will strengthen the Indian defense against China, though China will still be far ahead in military power and technology. Furthermore, China is the second biggest economic power in the world with military spendings almost three times higher than India. 

India has taken a defensive position in all this recent conflict with China or forced to do so by Chinese strategy and power. Nonetheless, India has lost much credibility in a recent conflict. In the future, India is not going to escalate any conflict with China, else it will try to regain the confidence of their forces and people by engaging with Pakistan, potentially weaker opponent than China. Well! it is yet to be seen.

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