Thursday, December 24, 2009

China-India Border Dispute, Part 1: Arunachal Pradesh/South Tibet

In 1914, Great Britain and Tibet signed a treaty and set forth the McMahon Line as the border between Tibet and the British colony of India. The area south of the line ultimately became the frontier Indian state of Arunachal Pradesh. China never acknowledged Tibet as an independent and sovereign nation and as such rejected Tibet's ability to sign a treaty with Britain. China is of the belief that the area that is the state of Arunachal Pradesh is actually Chinese territory, and refers to it as South Tibet. China can never recognize the McMahon Line or the state of AP because to do so is to recognize that Tibet was an independent nation.

The one million or so inhabitants of AP are mostly Tibeto-Burman. They are, for the most part, neglected by the Indian bureaucracy. The Indian news outlets, on the other hand, constantly talk of the small state being devoured by the land-hungry, villainous, Chinese dragon. Seeing as how the Chinese military is presently making incursions into AP just as it is making incursions into Bhutan, the media may have a point.

And oh yeah, the Dalai Lama's visit of Tawang last month did not help Sino-Indian/Indo-Chinese relations either.

You'll note that I've been posting news clips only from Indian sources. If CCTV English starts discussing the issue from the Chinese perspective, I'd be more than happy to post that too.

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