Ambiguity breeds Antagonism in India, China
May 11, 2010

Good fences make good neighbors” – Mending Wall by Robert Frost 1914.

India has once again raised the alarm on gradual Chinese incursions into Indian territory. A recently released paper by the Leh District, in Jammu & Kashmir sent to the home ministry claims that the Chinese are taking advantage of the ambiguity in demarcation of the the Line of Actual Control (LAC) that separates India and China. The paper cites that a 12 Km long stretch las been lost over seven years primarily because the Chinese have been pushing local nomadic people back. China and India share a nearly-2,000 km border and disputed areas cover about 125,000 sq km on both sides.

“They (Chinese) have threatened the nomadic people who had been using Dokbug area (in Ladakh sector) for grazing since decades long, in a way to snatch our land in inches. A Chinese proverb is famous in the world – better do in inches than in yards,” a report filed by former Sub Divisional Magistrate (Nyoma) Tsering Norboo, as quoted by the Times of India said.

The absence of a proper map, a lack of institutional memory in various agencies as well as the lack of a clear policy on the issue however, fail to raise a clear case for India.

Ironically, the paper was presented to the Indian home ministry before the People’s Liberation Army, Deputy Chief of General Staff, Ma Xiaotian and Indian Defense Secretary Pradeep Kumar met in Beijing to discuss bilateral defense issues. The meeting which took place last week, touched on the border issue and India’s concerns over the Chinese naval presence in the Indian Ocean.

Besides the 1962 Sino-India war, India’s ambiguous border with China has seen several conflicts erupt between the two nations. Both countries maintain that pockets of land along the border including Aksai Chin (the size of Switzerland) and Arunachal Pradesh (the size of Austria) are theirs.

In July last year, India accused the Chinese PLA of entering 1.5 kms into Indian territory, near Mount Gya, recognized as the International border generic cialis by India and China and painting large boulders with the words China and Zhong Guo (China in Mandarin) in red.

Partly, due to the high volume of trade in favor of China, its large army and the nation’s super power status, the Indian government has so far shrugged off Chinese incursions as media hype. The Ministry of External Affairs, which includes several diplomats that have recently served in China, maintain that misunderstandings do exist on the border issue, however they will be settled amicably.

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