Understanding the border dispute between India and China

Between The Lines


Together China in India account for more than one third of the entire population of the world, and if you believe the predictions of Keisha Mahbubani, remember him. He's been a skit on this program. He's the distinguished Singaporean intellectual. He says the future is Asian, and it's China's and India's to shame. But as my next guest points out. There, a deep historical tensions between these two budding global superpowers, which might make that impossible. China and India share land border in the Himalayas which has been in dispute since nineteen, sixty two, and it's been a pretty quiet style for decades, however, since May tensions have been rising nuclear powers facing off in a remote corner of the Himalayas, the disputed Kashmir region. This is the first the classroom this border in forty five years Indian government confirmed twenty of its soldiers were killed in the clash. China seems to now be making new claims to territory now. Will this be the event that pushes India away from Chana. Chana for good, and what does it mean for the rest of the World Tom V. Madan is a senior fellow in the foreign policy program at the Brookings Institution. In Washington. She's the author of a new book called Fateful Triangle. How China shut US India relations during the cold. War She's got an article in this month's foreign. Affairs magazine on how China is losing India Tovey. Welcome to between the lines. Thank you for having me Tom now. The border dispute between China and India has probably been the most tasteful. Conflict in the world. No one died and forty five years. What sit this conflict of? It was set off because of some early moves in early May that. had. Brought forward troops and equipped military equipment at different points on the China. India boundary the line of actual control. In the western sector particularly of their border, which is eastern Hlavac and at multiple points, what we saw was attempts to change the status quo whether it was to establish a permanent presence in built in areas, but both sides claim. Or attempts to stop a Indian patrols from moving in those areas which they have traditionally done. That's set the context. It's been going on since at least early May. What we actually saw what was happening to June, sixth meeting between senior military commanders was that they had agreed to a process of de-escalation and disengagement but something went very wrong in the course of this de-escalation. And this is where the incident took place. Now this particular incident has just been a larger in scale and an this whole stat of larger scale, but also regrets aggressiveness and the ones we've seen before, and there are reports that both countries are deploying some serious weapons to the bases close to the border. Is this just posturing, or is there a serious risk of Esscalation I? Think these kind of situation. There's always a risk of escalation. We've seen at least three. faceoffs three major face before this one between the Chinese and Indian military's in two, thousand, thirteen, two, thousand, fourteen in two thousand seventeen This one is could have larger in scale. We've seen as we did. On June fifteenth that even though they have traditionally had a whole series of agreements, standard operating procedures protocols in place between the two countries to avoid the kind of Esscalation we saw injured fifteenth. They clearly are not sufficient anymore, so let's put this in a broader historical context. China and India and went to war in nineteen, sixty two over the border. Now this of course was at the heart of the Cold War. Taibbi take us back to the geopolitical context of the time what was going on? By the time, the nineteen sixty sixty-two war broke out between China and India. You've seen a few years from about nineteen fifty seven about five years already of rising China Idiot tensions you've seen. The Indians relies that The Chinese did not consider. The boundary settled that they were building. A roads through territory India sought was India's. You saw scuffles skirmishes at between. The. Two sides patrols at various points on the boundary. You also saw the escape of the Lama. At a number of Tibetan. Refugees remain to stay in India in one, thousand, nine, hundred, nine, which the Chinese soil with deep suspicion and suspected that the US and you had worked together to engineer about escape. And, so you seem kind of rising tensions between China and India and at the same time you see you saw. The US India actually because in a national park because of their shared concerns about China actually starting to move closer towards each other for the for the the US This saw a in democratic India as both Jew potential, a political counterbalance, but also democratic contrast to soviet-backed Communist China accident, very interested in supporting it. N India welcomed that support, and so that was the. what was? Preceded that sixty to war, but which occurred when the Chinese decided. To move what they call the self defense a counterattack. And in nineteen, sixty two. Move across across the boundary took and defeated India quite badly, which laughed a number of different. It's a it's left a lot of historical baggage. The only major war the Union army has lost

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