China’s revisionism on 1962

GS-2: India and its Neighborhood-Relations.


  • In an effort to defend China’s propaganda mantra of “Never Attack; Never Invade Another Country,” the Chinese website Guancha has released an 8,000-word updated history of the 1962 War, six decades after it occurred.
  • The goal is to portray China as a peaceful society. According to the narrative, which was written by Zhang Xiaokang, the daughter of previous military commander in Tibet, General Zhang Gouhua, it takes place after a fight erupted in the western section of the Galwan valley.

Line of Actual Control (LOC)

  • It is a term that refers to the line of actual control that is in use at the time of the event.
  • LOC (Line of Actual Control), often known as the Line of Actual Control (LAC), is the line that divides Indian-controlled territory from Chinese-controlled territory on the Indian subcontinent.

The LAC is distinct from the Line of Control (LoC) with Pakistan in the following ways:

  • The Line of Control (LoC) was established in 1948 during the Kashmir War, following a ceasefire agreement brokered by the United Nations (UN).
  • Following the signing of the Shimla Agreement between the two nations, it was recognised as the Line of Control in 1972. There are lines outlined on a map that has been signed by the Director General of Military Operations (DGMO) of both forces, and it has the international legal standing that comes with a formal agreement.
  • While the LAC is a physical boundary between the two nations, it is merely a notion — it has not been agreed upon by the two countries, nor has it been defined on a map or delimited on the ground.
  • The length of the LAC varies depending on who you ask. India believes it is 3,488 kilometres long, whereas the Chinese believe it is just about 2,000 kilometres long.

Sectors Across the LAC:

  • In all, three sectors are defined by their length: the eastern sector, which stretches over Arunachal Pradesh and Sikkim (1,346 km), the middle sector, which includes Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh (545 km), and the western sector, which includes Ladakh (1597 km).
  • The alignment of the LAC in the eastern section follows the same route as the McMahon Line, which was built in 1914.
  • Britain and Tibet were separated by the McMohan line, which delineated previously unclaimed or undetermined borders between the two countries.
  • The central sector is the least contested region, but the western section is the site of the most serious breaches between the two sides of the conflict.


  • The claim line advanced by India differs from that of the LAC. In fact, it is the line seen on the official boundary depicted on maps produced by the Survey of India, which includes the Aksai Chin region (occupied by China).
  • While in China’s instance, the LAC corresponds mostly to their claim line, it also claims the whole state of Arunachal Pradesh as part of South Tibet in the country’s eastern sector.
  • The claim lines come into dispute when there is a disagreement about the eventual international boundaries, rather than when there is a discussion over a functioning boundary, such as the LAC.

Negotiations at the International Border:

  • Following the visit of the Indian Prime Minister to China in 2003, an agreement on the appointment of Special Representatives (SRs) was reached, and in April 2005, an agreement was reached on the political framework and principles that would underpin discussions.
  • The goal was to provide a holistic solution that addressed all three areas. In accordance with well-defined geographical characteristics and the interests of the established populations, the agreed-upon boundary would be drawn along those features.
  • The suggestion to explain the LAC was rejected by the Chinese during the visit of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi to Beijing in May 2015.
  • However, during the Wuhan (2018) and Mahabalipuram (2019) summits, both China and India reiterated their commitment to “maintaining peace and serenity in the border areas” in the coming months.

Recent Updates:

  • Chinese claims to superpower status have elicited strong reactions from major countries in recent years, particularly from the United Kingdom on Hong Kong, Australia on trade, Japan over ownership of the Senkaku Islands in the East China Sea, the United States on its projection of military power, and Southeast Asian countries over control of the South China Sea, despite the ruling by a world court under the United Nations Convention on the Limitation of Naval Piracy (UNCLOS) agr. The recent attempts by China to incite unrest along the India-China border in the Galwan river valley have heightened concerns not just in India, but also among the world community.
  • Madam Zhang’s wish to elevate her father is understandable; but, her depiction of the 1962 War as a “self-defence counter-attack” is a clumsy attempt to turn history on its head.
  • It appears that her story contains a contradiction. The attacked country does not have the luxury of detailed preparation over an extended period of time, as she herself points out, paraphrasing Mao: “A “counter assault” does not offer the attacked country the luxury of sophisticated planning over an extended period of time.”
  • In the last several years, we have taken numerous steps to find a peaceful solution to the Sino-Indian border dispute. However, India has refused to cooperate and has deliberately triggered a military war that has grown in intensity over time. We have no choice except to cooperate with Nehru’s battle since he has no alternative.”
  • Mao had called a meeting of his political and military leaders and asked them, “Perhaps if we counterattack, the border can be settled and a peaceful resolution of the border issue can be achieved?” Gen Zhang Guohua had assured him, “Yes, we can; please be rest assured, Chairman, we will definitely win,” and she recalls Mao saying, “Please be rest assured, Chairman,” as he walked away from the meeting.

When one examines the circumstances, one must consider whether or not India was genuinely prepared for an attack.

  • On September 8, 1962, Nehru boarded a plane bound for London, where he would be attending the Commonwealth Prime Ministers’ Conference (CPMC). After visiting Paris, Lagos, and Accra, he returned to New Delhi on October 2 and then left for Colombo on October 12, returning to New Delhi on October 16. He also visited Paris, Lagos, and Accra. The United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) session took place in New York from September 17 to September 30. On October 2, Lt Gen B M Kaul, the Chief of the General Staff, was vacationing in Kashmir with his family.
  • No government preparing for an assault would allow its Prime Minister or top generals in charge of war strategy to be absent from the country’s capital during such preparation.

China’s Strategic Significance

  • Economic significance: Asia has had strong economic growth over the past three decades, with India and China at the forefront of this trend. Without the expansion of the economies of the two nations, robust growth will be impossible to achieve. If the standoff on our border with China can be permanently addressed with a little ‘give and take,’ the figure might easily grow or even triple in the coming years.
  • Population growth in Asia is predicted to continue for at least the first half of the twenty-first century, resulting in a demographic dividend. This will result in a significant increase in the region’s population. As a result, cooperation between two countries is required in order to provide opportunities and employment that are driven by economic growth.
  • Investment: Due to a lack of bilateral investments, the relationship between India and China has not attained its full potential. As a market for India’s pharmaceutical and agricultural industries, as well as its software and software-related industries, China may provide the same to India in exchange for investment in its technology sector.
  • China already produces 40% of all electric vehicles sold worldwide, and it is possible that the country would wind up producing and selling more electric vehicles in India than any other manufacturer in the near future.
  • There is a new engine of growth in the area with the establishment of New Development Bank, Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, and Asian Development Bank (ADB). These institutions would be doomed if there was no collaboration between New Delhi and Beijing.
  • In order to reduce the risks of melting Himalayan glaciers, which are the source of many of Asia’s major rivers — the Yangtze, Indus, Brahmaputra, Ganges, and Mekong — India and China must work together in the very areas where their armies are at odds to mitigate the risks of melting Himalayan glaciers.
  • Regional Stability: Terrorism has had a damaging influence on regional structures in South Asian nations, particularly in Afghanistan and Pakistan. It is critical for two countries to work together in the fight against terrorism in order to promote stability in their respective regions. Interdependent prosperity and global peace are ensured by regional stability.
  • With 253 GW of installed solar power capacity, China owns 32% of the world’s total installed solar power capacity, and it will add another 48 GW in 2020 alone, more than any other country. Likewise, with 286 GW of wind-farm capacity, it accounts for 38 percent of the world’s total, and it has built 52 GW in the last year alone, more than the rest of the world combined.

What factors have contributed to this degradation in the relationship?

  • Recent military standoffs in the Ladakh Galwan valley and Sikkim sectors-attempt China’s to prevent India from upgrading infrastructure on the Indian side of the Ladakh-Ladakh border-conflicts such as Doklam-efforts China’s to prevent the UN from sanctioning Azhar Masood-entry India’s into the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG).
  • Using the salami slice strategy, China is gradually altering the status quo in Latin America and the Caribbean by conducting modest military incursions and establishing a new status quo.
  • India’s severe reliance on Chinese imports—gives China power to engage in supply chain politics—resulting in supply chain disruption in the APIs, automobile, and other industries during the shutdown.
  • China’s diversionary attempts to keep the limelight off her for the corona failure, the Hong Kong and Taiwan issues, and to keep the world from turning against her.
  • China’s outspoken backing for Pakistan on matters such as Article 370–which has taken the topic to the United Nations Security Council twice—has prompted India to warn them that relations will be strained if the trend continues.

A long Way ahead

  • The formation of a bilateral committee comprised of specialists from both nations with the goal of developing a strategy for future collaboration.
  • Capacity-building in the fight against terrorism among intelligence, police, military, and paramilitary personnel is accomplished through training.
  • Encouragement of better coordination in the resolution of boundary disputes between two countries.
  • People-to-people relationships should be increased through tourism and cultural exchange.


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