Forty Years of Folly

What Caused the Sino-Indian Border War and Why the Dispute Is Unresolved

Author: Neville Maxwell

Abstract:

Indians' mistaken belief that the border dispute and 1962 conflict with China were caused by China's aggression make Sino-Indian rapprochement unattainable, with ill consequences for world peace. But it was the Nehru government's refusal to negotiate that turned a readily resolvable boundary problem into an intractable dispute. Instead the government attempted to impose on China alignments unilaterally selected by India. Upon Beijing's refusal to accede to its territorial demands India began advancing troops to force the Chinese out of Indian-claimed territory, at first in an infiltration tactic but finally with preparation for an all- out infantry assault. The Chinese preempted that attack in a legitimate act of anticipatory self-defense. India's continuing refusal to negotiate a comprehensive settlement perpetuates the dispute.
Countries: China | India

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March 2003
© Jeff Kingston