History of a dispute

The Pan Tsu-li moment

Print edition : August 04, 2017

Nathu La, 14,150 feet high, is the Gateway to Tibet on the Old Silk Route. It is one of the trading posts between China and India. Photo: The Hindu Archives

June 1954: Prime Ministers Jawaharlal Nehru and Zhou En-lai in New Delhi. On July 1 that year, Nehru unilaterally altered India’s map to show a settled boundary in the west and ordered old maps to be destroyed. Photo: THE HINDU ARCHIVES

Sheep grazing in the Aksai Chin for as far as the eye can see. No one in the Indian establishment gave much thought to the region before India altered the map in 1954. Photo: THE HINDU ARCHIVES

This book looks at how China settled its territorial disputes.

A strong thread of continuity in China’s approach runs for six decades, from 1959 to this day. India ignored the hints, with two consequences. China concluded that India was not ready or willing for a compromise and hardened its own stand. Gone are the offers of old.
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