Published: 11th October 2021
What the FAQ: When did the India-China conflict begin and what are they fighting over?
Diplomatic stalemates are nothing new for the worsening ties between the higher echelons of the Indian and Chinese leaderships in the last few years. But when did the strife begin?
The 13th round of corp commander-level talks between India and China ended on a bitter note, with Indians claiming that China refused to accept its constructive suggestions for resolution of contested areas along the Sino-India border. The Chinese on the other hand say that the demands from India's side were "unreasonable".
Over the years, many such talks have taken place with varying degrees of success. Here, we take a look at how it has unravelled for Sino-India relationship over the years
1. When did the conflict between Indian and China first start?
The Sino-Indian conflict has its roots in the 1958 Tibetan rebellions against the Chinese as a result of which the Tibetan spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, had to flee Tibet. He found asylum in India, and ever since then, the two countries were involved in skirmishes along the Line of Actual Control, which came to a head in October 1962 when the Chinese Army initiated an assault on the Indian posts, which commenced the month-long Sino-India war, in which India suffered a crushing defeat. Ever since then, minor clashes have happened between the two countries along the border such as the 1967 clashes at the Nathu La and Cho La passes in Sikkim.
2. What are some of the important "contested friction points" that they have been fighting over?
The talks this time around were called for after Chinese transgressions in the Tawang sector of Arunanchal Pradesh and Barahoti in Uttarakhand. This was after the 12th round of the corps commander level talks on July 31, after which disengagement was achieved at the Gogra post in eastern Ladakh, which had become a concerning point of conflict between the two sides. Daulat Beg Oldie, Demchok and the Hot Springs areas of eastern Ladhak were the points of contention during the talks this time around.
3. Since when have these peace talks been going on?
The corp commander-level talks are part of a larger de-escalation effort after the deadly clashes in the Galwan Valley last year, which was also followed by the Chinese capturing 10 Indian soldiers. The first set of these talks were held on June 6, 2020. The meetings are usually held at Moldo on the Chinese side of the LAC.
4. What are the claims both sides are making about the spots?
Ladakh is a strategic spot for China because it is essentially the passage between Tibet and India. The Chinese feared that if made a Union Territory, India would be able to control all parts of Ladakh. The Indian government finally did make the move to declare the area a union territory in October 2019, giving way for the Chinese aggression in the area to escalate.