Essay

A failure ordained

Print edition : October 30, 2015

Jawaharlal Nehru with Zhou Enlai in Beijing in October 1954. This was the “Hindi-Chini bhai bhai” period. Photo: THE HINDU ARCHIVES

Indian and Chinese Army personnel at a ceremonial Border Personnel Meeting on the occasion of Chinese National Day, on October 2, in Arunachal Pradesh. Photo: PTI

In 1960, India lost a chance to settle the border disagreement with China. China’s position has since hardened, and the concessions that Zhou Enlai was willing to make then are off the negotiating table now.

“A CLASSIC pattern for a border dispute is present,” remarked Robert Trumbull, the astute correspondent of The New York Times in a detailed report reprinted in The Times of India on December 7, 1950. From 1846, when Britain annexed Kashmir to the Empire, until Independence India had a boundary problem with China. Properly handled, as part of the boundary-making exercise of the two new states, India and the People’s Republic of China, it could have been resolved before it assumed the proportions of a boundary dispute. Even when it did, the dispute need not have led to war. Each side had, and still has, its own non-negotiable, vital interest securely in its own control. The dispute was, and still is, therefore pre-eminently susceptible to resolution.

Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru, who held the External Affairs portfolio, bears the main blame for the tragedy, but not exclusively so. The entire opposition, especially Atal Bihari Vajpayee, Ram Manohar Lohia and their likes, attacked Nehru for being soft. Many in his Cabinet and party shared the view. Nehru himself fuelled their emotions by his angry rhetoric and a false stand. The nation was then concerned solely with the McMahon Line. The Aksai Chin in Ladakh interested none. Vallabhbhai Patel’s letter to Nehru of November 7, 1950, concerned the Line alone. Nehru’s statement on November 20, 1950, said “the McMahon Line is our boundary” while “the frontier from Ladakh to Nepal is defined chiefly by long usage and custom”. Only a few months earlier, the map in the White Paper on Indian States showed the western frontier as “undefined”. The map in the 1948 edition did not extend even the yellow colour wash to the entire State of Jammu and Kashmir. Charles U. Aitchison, the British Foreign Secretary who compiled successive editions of the authoritative Treaties, Engagements and Sanads, authoritatively and repeatedly said that the State’s northern and eastern boundaries were “undefined”. The definition could only be by a mutual agreement, never unilaterally. But Nehru defined it unilaterally by his Memorandum of July 1, 1951 ( SWJN; Volume 26, page 477). Old maps were burnt. The new unilateral line was “not open to discussion with anybody”. This monstrously wrong stand had, and it still has, hardly any critics.

Earlier, on February 12, 1951, Major R. Khating forcibly evicted the Tibetan administration from Tawang and perfected India’s control of the McMahon Line. Significantly, China did not object. The issue regarding the Aksai Chin was raised by Prime Minister Zhou Enlai on January 23, 1959. Nehru replied two months later, on March 22, 1959, by citing irrelevantly an 1842 treaty to assert that there was a fixed boundary. It is unnecessary to trace the escalation—the Longju and the Kongka Pass incidents and the rest. Suffice it to say that India had a serious boundary problem on its hands. The consequences of failure to nip the trouble in the bud should have stared Nehru in the face.

Two factors were very evident. Nehru repeatedly pointed out that the Aksai Chin was of no value to India. He said on August 31, 1959, in the Rajya Sabha: “The territory is sterile. It has been described as a barren, uninhabited region without a vestige of grass and 17,000 feet high.”

On September 10, in the same House, he said: “We may get excited about the sacredness of the Indian soil and the Chinese people may get excited about something they hold sacred, if they hold anything sacred. That is a different matter, but the fact of the matter is that nothing can be a more amazing folly than for two great countries like India and China to go into a major conflict and war for possession of a few mountain peaks, however beautiful the mountain peaks might be, or some area which is more or less uninhabited.” India did not need it. China did. The Xinjiang-Tibet highway ran through the Aksai Chin. For China, it was, and is, a non-negotiable, vital interest, as the McMahon Line is India’s.

The other was the Pakistan factor. In reply to Patel’s letter, Nehru sent a note on November 18, 1950, which said “…the fact remains that our major possible enemy is Pakistan”—this, in 1950. (Emphasis added, throughout.)He added: “This has compelled us to think of our defence mainly in terms of Pakistan’s aggression. If we begin to think of, and prepare for, China’s aggression in the same way, we would weaken considerably on the Pakistan side. We might well be caught in a pincer movement” ( Sardar Patel’s Correspondence; Volume 10; pages 344-345).

Nine years later, China’s Ambassador to India Pan Tsu-Li read out a note to Foreign Secretary Subimal Dutt, on May 16, 1959, that neither country could fight on two fronts. Nehru had him scolded rudely. When the dispute erupted in the open, after the Longju incident on the McMahon Line—which also Nehru had unilaterally modified, as he admitted on September 12, 1962—Nehru had two options. One was to wage a diplomatic offensive for China’s withdrawal, despite the fact that the land was useless. China would not and could not abandon its national interest and India did not have the military might. (In 1962, Nehru used force under his Forward Policy and brought the country to grief.) The other option was to accept realistically and honestly the fact of an “undefined boundary” and strike a good compromise in view of the unimportance of the Aksai Chin to India, the importance of good relations with China, and the fact that he had unilaterally altered the map.

He could have sought a fair compromise. Sir John Addis, former British Ambassador to China, aptly remarked in his paper after the dispute erupted: “At the time that the Indians were moving to fill the void in the eastern sector, the Chinese were moving to fill the void in the western sector. The Indians got there first in the east, the Chinese in the west.” In the records of old, the Aksai Chin belonged to nobody; it was a “no-man’s land”.

Soon after Longju, China expanded further in the south of the road to the Changchenmo valley in Kashmir. Hence, the Kongka Pass incident on October 21, 1959—Intelligence Bureau (I.B.) Director B.N. Mullik’s folly. Alastair Lamb opined in his excellent essay “The China-India Border” (Oxford University Press, 1964, page 76) that “by 1864, the whole Changchenmo valley seems to have come under the effective control of the Kashmir Durbar, who were beginning to open up trade routes through it and who were issuing permission for the subjects of British India to visit it. By the end of British rule in India the Changechenmo valley was as clearly a part of the Indian Empire as some of the border tracts on the Seistan-Baluchistan boundary, for example; and no responsible British authority, provided it had the means to defend it, could have been expected to surrender any part of this valley. North of the Changchenmo valley the situation alters.”

Nehru could, and should, well have conceded the Aksai Chin and asked for the return of the Changchenmo valley, especially since China had written off the McMahon Line. This option was available to him when he met Zhou in 1960. But, by then, he was not in a negotiating frame of mind. Zhou was eager for a compromise, as he, as well as Mao Zedong, had promised Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev when the latter visited Beijing in November 1959.

Doomed to failure

The correspondence preceding the summit reveals why it was doomed to failure. This is not to say that Zhou was not culpable. The journalist Neville Maxwell pertinently asked: “The question remains: why did Chou En-lai not raise the subject of the western sector of the Sino-Indian border at this time? (1956)… the Chinese government must have been aware of the recently confirmed Indian map claim to Aksai Chin. They were already dealing with the boundary dispute in the adjoining middle sector (in 1954), so it can be assumed that Chou En-lai had been briefed about the potential for a dispute in the west too. It has been seen that Nehru and his advisers had taken the view that India’s interests would best be served if it were left to China to bring up her map claims to territory occupied by India (the area beneath the McMahon Line); perhaps the Chinese took the same approach to the Indian map claim to what they regarded as their Aksai Chin territory.

“Whatever the reason for it, Chou En-lai’s failure to bring up the western sector when he was discussing the eastern border with Nehru in 1956 had far-reaching and malign consequences. If, in the context of what Chou certainly saw, and Nehru probably accepted, as a Chinese concession on the McMahon Line, he had gone on to point out that Indian maps were showing an incorrect boundary in the western sector, it is highly probable that the dispute would have been avoided. The glow, almost euphoria, of Hindee Chinee bhai-bhai was then at its zenith and Nehru would surely have seen a marginal modification of Indian maps, bringing them into accordance with actuality on the ground, as a negligible price for its continuance—indeed, he might have welcomed the opportunity to match Chou’s pragmatism about the McMahon Line. But the opportunity passed unseen, and two years later the situation was wholly changed. To have it civilly pointed out that your maps do not accord with actuality is one thing; to discover that a neighbour, without a by-your-leave, has built a road across territory your maps show as your own is quite another. The objective reality may be the same but the perception is not, and in this case the perception was everything” ( India’s China War; pages 90-91). Both writers were reviled, and continue still to be reviled, in India for their pains.

China’s lapses are not to be made light of, still less India’s national interest. But, not forgetting China’s lapses, nor those of India, what did the national interest require in late 1959 and early 1960? A compromise, obviously—give up the barren land and get the entire northern boundary defined by treaty. Nehru overreacted to Zhou’s formal claims on the McMahon Line in 1959. They were an obvious ploy. In 1960, Zhou accepted the Line. But on September 26, 1959, Nehru stipulated two preconditions. “No discussions can be fruitful unless the posts on the Indian side of the traditional frontier now held by the Chinese forces are first evacuated by them and further threats and intimidations immediately cease.” China was unlikely to don sackcloth and ashes and comply. But, even if it did, Nehru would not negotiate. “No government could possibly discuss the future of such large areas which are an integral part of their territory.” Even the Aksai Chin was “acquired” on map in 1954.

Zhou’s reply on November 7, 1959, is highly significant. He took the initiative to propose a summit. As significant was Nehru’s response: “I welcome your suggestion and, as I have previously stated, I am always ready to meet and discuss with Your Excellency the outstanding differences between our countries and explore avenues of friendly settlement. It is our common desire that such a meeting should bear fruit. The nature of the discussion at our meeting should, therefore, be such that we do not lose ourselves in a forest of data. Our correspondence has shown that the issues involve a mass of historical data, maps, etc. It is necessary, therefore, that some preliminary steps are taken and the foundation for our discussions laid. Unless this is done, there is danger of the meeting not leading to a successful result, which we so much desire, and disappointing the hopes of millions of people in our two countries. While, therefore, I am ready to meet you at a suitable time and place, I feel that we should concentrate our immediate efforts on reaching interim understanding.” The “interim understanding” he referred to would be China’s withdrawal from south of the McMahon Line.

Zhou made a proposal on December 17, 1959: “Your Excellency expressed welcome to my 7 November proposal for the holding of talks between the Prime Ministers of the two countries. Here indeed lies the hope for a turn for the better in the relations between the two countries. Although there are differences of opinion between our two countries on the boundary question, I believe that this in no way hinders the holding of talks between the two Prime Ministers; on the contrary, it precisely requires its early realisation so as to reach first some agreements of principles as a guidance to concrete discussions and settlement of the boundary question by the two sides. Without such a guidance, there is a danger that concrete discussions of the boundary question by the two sides may bog down in endless and fruitless debates. I, therefore, make the concrete proposal that the two Prime Ministers begin talks on 26 December.”

Nehru missed the point completely “How can we, Mr Prime Minister, reach an agreement on principles when there is such complete disagreement about the facts?” The facts of history were in contest as were the facts of recent incidents. What Zhou meant by “principles” were the outlines of a settlement based on the formula on which China settled with all others history and the actualities. Did India have the sanction to compel China to yield more? And for what—the Aksai Chin? But Nehru was none too keen on a meeting, still less on a compromise. “You were good enough to suggest that we should meet to discuss these matters and, so far as we are concerned, it has been our consistent policy to welcome such meetings and informal approaches which sometimes lead to helpful results. But I found that the respective viewpoints of our two governments, in regard to the matters under discussion, were so wide apart and opposed to each other that there was little ground left for useful talks. I suggested in my letter of 16 November 1959 certain preliminary steps which would have eased the situation and facilitated further discussions. Unfortunately you have not found yourself able to accept those proposals. I still hope that you will reconsider your decision in this matter.

“In the latest note from the Government of the People’s Republic of China, emphasis has been laid on our entire boundary never having been delimited. That is a statement which appears to us to be wholly incorrect, and we cannot accept it. On that basis there can be no negotiations.… for the moment I do not see any common ground between our respective viewpoints. Nevertheless I think that we should make every effort to explore avenues which might lead to a peaceful settlement. Although any negotiations on the basis you have suggested are not possible, still, I think it might be helpful for us to meet” (February 5, 1960). Nehru invited Zhou to New Delhi.

Nehru always distinguished between “talks” and “negotiations”. He never ruled out talks. He very seldom negotiated.

Nehru-Zhou summit

This was the background for the Nehru-Zhou summit. They spoke for 20 hours in seven sessions; twice on April 20, and then on April 21, 22, 23, 24 and 25. Zhou arrived on April 19 and departed on April 26, empty-handed.

Volume 60 of the Selected Works of Jawaharlal Nehru is a treasure trove. It contains the transcripts of the Nehru-Zhou talks and of Zhou’s talks with G.B. Pant, Morarji Desai, who was characteristically rude, V.K. Krishna Menon, and R.K. Nehru, former Ambassador to China who disagreed with the Prime Minister’s line. Officials of both sides also met, as did Swaran Singh with Chen Yi, the Foreign Minister.

The talks should have proceeded on the basis of a basic disagreement on history and recent events and focussed on devising a solution to the dispute, despite the disagreements.

Instead, a lot of time was spent in debating issues of title, in the manner of solicitors, with Nehru taking the lead with reproaches. Zhou contributed his share generously. Both accepted that there was no conflict of interest. Zhou said: “I have come here to seek solution and not to repeat arguments.” He was for “maintaining of status quo”.

On April 21, Zhou made a proposal. “We do not have the same understanding temporarily; but we may have to appoint special personnel to find out what the historical and material facts are. In a few days’ time, we may probably be not able to reach any conclusions, but eventually we can find out whose understanding of facts is correct.…

“We must find out some solution. Your Excellency asked me as to how the talks should proceed. After comparing the documents and maps, we realise that the facts greatly differ. I have, therefore, this idea in my mind and I would like to know whether it is workable. We should appoint a joint committee to look into the material we both have. It is not possible to do so in the duration of these talks. But the committee can take time and go through the facts on both sides. This may be useful for the sake of our friendship and for shortening the distance in our viewpoints. We should place all our material on the table. The c ommittee can even carry out investigation or surveys on the spot and find out what the facts are. Before agreement is reached by the joint committee, each side may maintain its stand and viewpoint.

“While the joint committee is functioning, both sides should maintain status quo as is obtained in actuality. There should be a line between the two areas actually controlled by the two sides. In order to ensure tranquillity along the border, to facilitate the work of the survey teams, and in the interest of friendship, we should maintain a distance between the forces on either side.”

This unrealistic proposal was accepted in an exercise in futility. But it was linked to “surveys on the spot” by the committee. Zhou had in mind an exploration of the state of the status quo. Nehru delinked this while accepting the proposal for an Officials’ Committee. He was adamant that the “position regarding [the] western sector is that it is clearly defined”.

At no point in the talks did Nehru raise the question of the boundary west of the Karakoram Pass, which was in Pakistan’s control. Replying to the charge on the changes in Indian maps, he made an important comment: “It is true that we changed our maps in 1953 [ sic], but that was in regard to the extreme north of this area and this change was made after careful enquiries and was made in favour of the Chinese government. It is true that, at that time, an area that is not now included in our maps was shown in colour shade and shown as belonging to Hunza of Kashmir State. We, however, examined this and came to the conclusion that it was not correct for Kashmir or Hunza to claim this area and so, on our own initiative, we left it out.” Three years later, he accused Pakistan of ceding those very areas to China whereas it had merely written off lands on old maps—which Nehru said he had revised in China’s favour.

However, Nehru hit the nail on the head when he pointed out that a “joint committee can hardly deal with this and it can at the most consider such material and try to lessen the area of disagreement. But the whole question is not only a geographical question but a political issue and such a committee would not be able to achieve much by wandering in high mountains.”

With typical inconsistency he added: “I would, therefore, suggest that we should jointly consider what the differences are from the material available with both sides and reduce the area of difference. It will take time but the person can do the work here and can report to us. At least, that will make the facts clear. They can tell us about places where we agree, places where we disagree and places where there is misunderstanding. Your Excellency’s proposals about a joint committee would, however, involve a long time and, secondly, it will also raise the question about status quo. What is meant by status quo? Would it mean that we are petrifying something that we do not recognise today?” Nehru did not follow up his recognition of the political character of the issue by adopting a political rather than contentious approach himself.

Since Nehru had overreacted to China’s claim, in formal documents in the correspondence, Zhou told R.K. Nehru: “I have given all these details and background of this in my letter of the 26th December, 1959. But, in spite of that letter we were willing to consider settling the eastern border, accept the Indian jurisdiction upto the McMahon Line and assure that we will not cross it. So, in the east a settlement can be found. We have never made any territorial claims but India says we have. Our people resent this and this has made this problem very difficult. But the responsibility is not ours. What has happened is very unexpected from our friends. I am placing before you the actual position. Our aim is still to explore ways to settlement. As I have told you, we do not stress in public but I want to tell you all the facts. Only in the past two years things have become very complicated and we know that non-settlement of this problem will harm us both. That is why, we have come to Delhi to try and reach some sort of a settlement and not to emphasise our differences. Whether we succeed or not, is to be seen. But our friendship is the most important thing. If we cannot settle now, we can find other and gradual ways and means to solve this problem. You, Mr Ambassador are deeply interested in India-China friendship and you know the background of our Tibet policy. Chairman Mao Tse Tung had himself told you about this policy several times…. So whenever there are any differences, we think of you and that is why we invited you again because you understand our position. Because we are friends that is why I have told you all this.” R.K. Nehru did not agree with the Prime Minister’s hard line on China. Zhou’s remarks reflect an ardent desire for a settlement. The Indian response made him feel snubbed and humiliated.

On Hunza, Zhou told Nehru: “Your Excellency mentioned that in 1953 some change was made in the Indian maps in Hunza area and that it was to the advantage of China. We have not found this map of India; but we noticed that, in the present Indian maps and in the present Pakistan maps, there is a difference herein this area. In the Pakistan maps, the area here extends into Chinese territory. In the Indian maps, the boundary line is further to the south; but it is still not in accordance with the watershed.” Pakistan relinquished its claims, which had been based on wrong maps of old, in its boundary agreement with China on March 2, 1963, very sensibly. Yet, Nehru attacked it for doing so despite what he told Zhou in 1960. On the third day of the talks, Zhou mentioned five points on which it was possible for the two sides to agree.

He reiterated them the next day. The fourth point said: “We made no claim in the eastern sector to areas south of the line, but India made such claims in the western sector. It is difficult to accept such claims and the best thing is that both sides do not make such territorial claims. Of course, there are individual places which need to be readjusted individually, but that is not a territorial claim.”

In short, China accepted the McMahon Line alignment while inviting India to accept the status quo in the Aksai Chin.

Unfortunately, both sides ignored and wilfully misconstrued Britain’s 1899 proposal to China. It was in a letter dated March 14, 1899, by Ambassador Claude M. MacDonald. It included within China more than half of its present claim in the Aksai Chin, including the entire road. If China had accepted it, the matter would have been settled. It ignored the proposal.

On Zhou’s crucial fourth point, Nehru rejoined: “Our accepting things as they are would mean that basically there is no dispute and the question ends there; that we are unable to do.”

How did he plan to get China to leave the Aksai Chin and its road? Was the end of a dispute, on admittedly useless lands, not a gain? He repeated his stand on April 25 in these terms: “On point No.3, I had pointed out that, if we accepted this, it would mean that practically we have settled our disputes. I did not say anything because I thought that we had made our position sufficiently clear and it is certainly not correct to say that I agree to these points or that we are unanimous on these points. For example, when you said that the dispute existed, it was not a matter for agreement or disagreement on my part, since you were making an assertion about the existence of a dispute. Our claim all along has been that, although the boundary is not marked to the ground, it has all along been well defined through various ways. There may, of course, be difference of opinion on this, but our position is clear.”

The Prime Ministers disagreed even on the working of the joint communique. Having aroused public opinion, Nehru was anxious that disagreement and failure of the talks be made clear. Zhou wanted to end on a positive note. At his press conference on April 25, Zhou expanded the five points to six but omitted point 4 , which accepted the delineation along the McMahon Line. India had missed a fine opportunity. Charles Wheeler of the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) asked Zhou if Nehru had accused China of aggression during the talks. Zhou denied that angrily. The very next day, at the Palam airport in New Delhi, moments after Zhou’s plane had taken off, Nehru corrected the omission: “they have committed aggression”.

Can you imagine the Asian scene today if Nehru had accepted Zhou’s proposal on the McMahon Line and the road? China ignored Pakistan’s proposal for boundary talks for a year and accepted it only after its relations with India had deteriorated.

In reply to China’s query as to the basis of its proposal, Pakistan replied—historical facts and present realities. China repeatedly proposed joint surveys to demarcate the border with. In 1960, Zhou told R.K. Nehru: “We must do mutual survey and the actual line should be drawn which would be found satisfactory to both the parties. We may not find a satisfactory line this year or the next year. The most important thing is our friendship. We have plenty of time to settle the matter.” That implied an acceptance of the status quo. But to repeat, Nehru could have asked for the Changchenmo Valley in the bargain.

Pain and bitterness

In the aftermath of the failure of the talks, each side revealed its pain. “As usual Nehru gave full—and probably excessive—weight to public attitudes. At a meeting at the turn of 1959-60 attended by himself, Pant, N.R. Pillai [the Secretary-General], and one other, the Chinese ‘barter’ proposal was discussed; Nehru is reported to have closed the discussion with the observation: ‘If I give them that I shall no longer be Prime Minister of India—I will not do it.’” (Maxwell, page 166). His source? “Recounted to the writer at the time by one of those present.”

Zhou Enlai told Ceylon’s M.Ps with bitterness: “I have met many leaders of the world throughout my career. I met Khrushchev. I met Chiang Kai-shek. I’ve met American generals. But I have never met a more arrogant man than Nehru. I am sorry to say this but this is true” ( Ceylon Observer; October 11, 1964). The bitterness reflected his feelings of hurt.

Volumes 61 and 62 also contain important material on a host of issues. On June 3, 1960, Nehru assured Congress workers in Pune that India was capable of meeting China’s might. Nehru’s note to the Foreign Secretary on July 8, 1960, shows that he was not above manipulating the Speaker and the Lok Sabha.

“I agree with you. The Speaker might be requested to disallow this question. The question depends on the interpretation of certain articles in our treaty with Bhutan. We do not agree with the interpretation put on it in the statement made by the Prime Minister of Bhutan at a Ppress conference. Our position is well known in Bhutan. We do not wish to enter into a controversy on this subject with Bhutan, as that can only be advantageous to those countries and others who desire to loosen the bonds of India and Bhutan. Therefore, we would request that this question be not allowed.”

Nehru objected to Indian papers carrying advertisements of Peking Review. On August 1, 1960, he presented a list of 24 in Parliament. Among them were The Hindu, The Times of India, The Illustrated Weekly of India, The Hindustan Times and The Statesman.

India’s Foreign Secretary’s letter to the Prime Minister of Bhutan, dated September 13, 1960, makes interesting reading. Bhutan’s National Assembly objected to China’s maps, as also India’s.

The Foreign Secretary replied: “The National Assembly also drew the Government of India’s attention to the delineation of the Bhutan-India frontier in the latest map. It is true that the frontier is not marked by a line which is ordinarily employed to delineate international boundaries. The present manner of delineation of the frontier is, however, the one which had been used from 1915s till 1950. It is only for two years from 1950 to 1952 that the international symbol was used for making the frontier between Bhutan and India. Whatever the manner of delineation on the maps, the relations between Bhutan and India are governed by the Treaty between the two countries and there should be no doubt about the status of Bhutan. It occurs to the Government of India, however, that the present is not a suitable time to attempt a revision of the map. This is more specially so since the Chinese Government claim a large area of Bhutan, and we feel that nothing should be done at this stage which might add to the difficulties of the situation.

“I also take this opportunity to refer to your letter dated 18th June to the Political Officer, forwarding the English translation of a letter from the Bhutan National Assembly. The Assembly’s letter raises the question of the right of Bhutan to conduct her external relations, stating at the same time that Bhutan has no present intention of establishing relations with foreign countries. You had yourself raised this question in your letter of September 1959 to our Prime Minister. In his reply of 29 September 1959, the Prime Minister fully explained the facts and we had thought that this would resolve any doubts which you have had. There is little that the Government of India can add.”

The issue was resolved by the recently concluded treaty with Bhutan. But there is little sign of change in the mindset of 1960, which drove India to take up an unrealistic and impossible stand. We are still stuck with the border dispute, while China has resolved all other border disputes on the same basis that it proposed in 1960—“historical background and present actual situation”.

In the 1962 war, China acquired 2,500 square miles of territory. In the last decade or so, its negotiating position has hardened. Zhou’s proposal of 1960 is off the negotiating table.

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