By Shaji John
As same for many other countries the reason for the conflict between two largely populated countries of the world, India and China, is unsolved border issues. The border issues between both the countries have remained more or less aggressive in the last 60 years. The intensity of these resulted in the 1962 war between both the countries. After the war the Chinese retreated from the entire Arunachal Pradesh of India except Aksai chin which is passage between Tibet and Xinjiang. The Chinese still keep this area with them.
The recent conflict started on 15th April with the Chinese incursion into eastern Ladakh region of India and the erection of tents at Daulat Bag Oldi (DBO), 19 K.M. from the international border. There are about 40 members of Chinese People Liberation Army with one light Humvee like four wheel vehicle, one six wheel troop carrying vehicle and one heavy eight wheel truck and two sniffer dogs for 18300 feet altitude. To counter the Chinese the Indian Tibetan Border Police has established a camp, approximately 300 meters opposite to the Chinese. The Ladakh Scouts an infantry regiment of the Indian Army specialized in mountain warfare has also moved to the area rising up the tension.
The opposition in India got yet an other opportunity to blame the ruling government. They blame the government for doing nothing about the Chinese incursion. They accuse that the foreign policy is skipping into coma. The Indian Parliament too experienced the heat of the issue. Where as the government tries to play down the issue by saying that it is just a localized issue. Perhaps the weak government has no other option other than to work against the sensationalism of the issue. But many who study the issue doubt whether it is just a rogue commander’s naughty business or a pre-planned government aggression. Further reinforcement in the DBO and the maintenance of regular supplies to 40 personals in 5 tents force one to believe that the incursion is with the Chinese government’s knowledge.
At the Brigadier level meeting both the countries stuck to their known stands. The Chinese claimed that the DBO was well in their territory and Indian side should leave its claim for it. They further demanded that Indian should dismantle bunkers along the line of actual control in Phuktsay and Chumar area. India accused China for violating the border agreement between both the countries. However a negotiation is possible as the Foreign Minister Salman Khurshid visits Beijing on May 9th and the Chinese Premier Li Kegiang visits India on May 20th. The leaders of both the counties should have a sense of the history and pragmatic approach to solve the issue permanently and not temporarily.Other wise there is no meaning in these so called meetings. The eastern Ladakh region has been a disputed territory because a large area that is part of both the countries presently was undefined until mid 1950. When the British transferred power to India in 1947, it left the areas such as DBO and Aksai Chin in a cartographic grey zone. Maps from 1930 leave the area between Kashmir and Xingiang unmarked. It was only in the mid 1950 the mapmakers claimed the area erasing ‘undefined’.