Thursday, November 12, 2009

McMahon Line(藏南麦克马洪线)

McMahon Line

The McMahon Line marks boundary between Chinese-held and Indian-held territory in the eastern Himalayan region. The line was the focus of a brief war in 1962, when Indian and Chinese forces struggled to control a disputed area, much of which is a thinly populated high altitude mountain area. The disputed area is referred to as Arunachal Pradesh by India and South Tibet by China.

British was the colonist of India after its trading company, The East India Company, won the Battle of Plassey on 23 June, 1757, which was a decisive British East India Company victory over the Nawab of Bengal and his French allies, establishing Company rule in India which expanded over much of South Asia for the next 190 years. Early British efforts to create a boundary in South East India were triggered by their discovery in the mid-19th century that Tawang, an important trading town, was Tibetan territory. In 1873, the British India drew an "Outer Line," intended as an international boundary(Note: without any negotiation and consent of the bordering neighbor countries). This line follows the alignment of the Himalayan foothills, now roughly the southern boundary of Arunachal Pradesh. Britain concluded treaties with Beijing concerning Tibet's boundaries with Burma and Sikkim. However, Tibet refused to recognize the boundaries drawn by these treaties. British forces led by Sir Francis Younghusband invaded Tibet in 1904,the British army occupied Lhasa, and the 13th Dalai Lama was forced to flee from the city. The invaders compelled the Tibetan local government officials to sign the Lhasa Convention. But because the Ministry of External Affairs of the Qing government believed the Lhasa Convention would do damage to national sovereignty, the high commissioner stationed in Tibet by the Qing government refused to sign it, leaving it ineffectual. After their failure to assume full control of Tibet through direct military incursion, the imperialists changed their tack and began plotting to separate Tibet from China. On August 31, 1907, Britain and Russia signed the Convention Between Great Britain and Russia, which changed China's sovereignty over Tibet into "suzerainty." This marked the first time Chin's sovereignty over Tibet was altered into "suzerainty" in international documents. Both nations "engage not to enter into negotiations with Tibet except through the intermediary of the Chinese Government." (Note: At that time China was a semi-colonial country after the Opium War, a military weak country. Suzerainty is a situation in which a region or people is a tributary to a more powerful entity which controls its foreign affairs while allowing the tributary some limited domestic autonomy, which is a colonist concept).

Note: What did a country from Europe, which is far away from North East India do in Tawang and drew a line on other people's country in 1873? Why did Sir Francis Younghusband invaded Tibet in 1904?( a friendly line drew in history?)..... logically another hidden plan for a colonist.

British interest in the borderlands was renewed when the Qing government sent military forces to establish Chinese administration in Tibet (1910-12). A British military expedition was sent into what is now Arunachal Pradesh and the North East Frontier Tract was created to administer the area (1912). In 1912-13, this agency reached agreements with the tribal leaders who ruled the bulk of the region. The Outer Line was moved north, but Tawang was left as Tibetan territory.

Note: The outer line was moved north....moving the border of its colony....a clear cut invasion by British colonist.

After the fall of the Qing dynasty in China, when the Republic of China was established(which included Tibet)in 1911. Britain took advantage of the political chaos in China after the collapse of the Qing Dynasty and the new birth of the Republic of China, and put before the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs a five-point demand, indicating the denial of China's sovereignty over Tibet. When the Chinese government rejected the British demand, the British blocked all the roads leading from India to Tibet.

In 1913 the British government inveigled the Tibetan authorities into declaring independence and proposed that "Britain be the weaponry supplier after total independence of Tibet;" "Tibet accept British envoys' supervision of Tibetan financial and military affairs in return for Britain's support of Tibetan independence;" "Britain be responsible for resisting the army of the Republic of China when it reaches Tibet;" "Tibet adopt an open policy and allow freedom of movement of the British." (Zhu Xiu: 60-Year Chronology of Tibet) However, Britain's schemes failed.

In 1913, taking advantage of the fact that Yuan Shikai, who had usurped the presidency of the Republic of China, was eager to get foreign diplomatic recognition and international loans, the British government forced the Beijing government to participate in a tripartite conference of China, Britain and Tibet, namely the Simla Conference held at the behest of the British government. Before the conference, Charles Bell political officer sent to Sikkim by the British-Indian government, privately met with Lon-chen Shatra, the representative of the Tibetan local government to the conference. Bell trumpeted to Lon-chen Shatra that "suzerainty" implied "independence." In his book Tibet: Past and Present, Bell wrote, "When I met Lon-chen Shatra in Gyantse, I advised him to bring down all the documents which he could collect bearing on the Tibetan relationship to China in the past, and on the former's claims to the various provinces and districts which had from time to time been occupied by China." Stirred up by the British, the Tibetan representative raised the slogan of "Tibetan independence" for the first time. He also claimed "Tibetan territory includes Qinghai, Litang, Batang and Dajianlu." When these demands were rejected by the representative of the Chinese government, the British delegate introduced the pre-arranged "compromise" scheme, which divided China's Tibetan-inhabited areas into "inner Tibet" and "outer Tibet." "Inner Tibet," including Tibetan-inhabited areas in Qinghai, Gansu, Sichuan and Yunnan provinces, would be under the jurisdiction of the Chinese government. With regard to "outer Tibet," including Tibet and west Xikang, the Chinese government was requested to "recognize the autonomy of outer Tibet" and "refrain from interfering in its internal affairs;" "however, China may still send its high commissioner to Lhasa and maintain an escort army of no more than 300 soldiers." The essence of this "compromise" scheme was to change China's sovereignty over Tibet into "suzerainty," and separate Tibet from the authority of the Chinese government under the pretext of "autonomy." Naturally these unreasonable demands were strongly opposed by the Chinese people. The agreement also refers to a map with the McMahon line drawn on it. This situation is the same as to the colonist's action to China in coastal area when Qing government was forced to give Hong Kong and open her ports(Treaty ports)after the Opium Wars.

On July 3, 1914, the Chinese government representative Chen Yifan upon instruction refused to sign the Simla Convention. In his statement, Chen said, "Government of China refuses to recognize any agreement which His Majesty's Government and Tibet might conclude independently either now or in the future." The Chinese government also sent a note to the British government, reiterating its position. Therefore, the conference broke down. After Beijing repudiated Simla, the British and Tibetan delegates attached a note denying China any privileges under the agreement and signed it as a bilateral accord.

McMahon line
In 1913-1914 representatives of China, Tibet and Britain negotiated a treaty in India: the Simla Accord. This treaty's objective was to define the borders between Inner and Outer Tibet as well as between Outer Tibet and British India. British administrator, Sir Henry McMahon, drew up the 550 miles (890 km) McMahon Line as the border between British India and Outer Tibet during the Simla Conference. The Tibetan and British representatives at the conference agreed to the line, which ceded Tawang and other Tibetan areas to the British Empire. The Chinese representative had no problems with the border between British India and Outer Tibet, however on the issue of the border between Outer Tibet and Inner Tibet the talks broke down. Thus, the Chinese representative refused to accept the agreement and walked out. The Tibetan Government and British Government went ahead with the Simla Agreement and declared that the benefits of other articles of this treaty would not be bestowed on China as long as it stays out of the purview. The Chinese position since then has been that since China had sovereignty over Tibet, the line was invalid without Chinese agreement. Furthermore, by refusing to sign the Simla documents, the Chinese Government had escaped according any recognition to the validity of the McMahon Line. (Note: A colonist attempt to divide Tibet to Inner Tibet, Outer Tibet, and South Tibet(within colonist's control; if it is not invasion , then what is this?)

The new government of the Republic of China would hold nominal power over the majority of Chinese territory for only four years before war broke out between numerous armed factions.
Indeed, the span of Chinese history from 1916 to 1938 came to be called the "Warlord Era," as the different military factions sought to fill the power vacuum left by the collapse of the Qing Dynasty. China would see near-continuous civil war up to the Communist victory in 1949, and this era of conflict was exacerbated by the Japanese Occupation and World War II (1910 - 1945). Under such circumstances, the Chinese was politically too weak and showed little interest in Tibet. There is no incident occurred during the period over border dispute under The McMahon Line. At the time in 1948, India gained independence from British.

In the 1950s, India-China relations were cordial and the boundary dispute quiet. The Indian government under Prime Minister Nehru promoted the slogan Hindi-Chini bhai-bhai. (India and China are brothers). In 1954, India renamed the disputed area the North East Frontier Agency.

The Prime Minister of India,Mr Jawaharlal Nehru in his letter dated 22-4-1957 to Prime Minister of Burma, Mr. U Nu, which he stated that " I entirely agree that the use of the word "McMahon Line" is not right and should be put an end to. It reminds one of British incursions and aggression. We are, therefore, not using these words any longer. Indeed, so far as we are concerned, we have maintained all along that our frontier with China, except for the two or three very minor matters, was a fixed and well known frontier and there was no dispute about it".

Occupation of Tibetan territory by China from the former Republic of China(civil war), climaxing in the flight of the Dalai Lama to India in March 1959, created a great deal of sympathy for Tibet in India and led Chinese leaders to suspect that Nehru had designs on the region. On August 1959, Chinese troops captured an Indian outpost at Longju, three miles south of the McMahon Line according to the Geonames database (National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency.) In a letter to Nehru dated 24 October 1959, Zhou Enlai proposed that India and China each withdraw their forces 20 kilometers from the "line of actual control." Shortly afterward, Zhou defined this line as "the so-called McMahon Line in the east and the line up to which each side exercises actual control in the west".

In November 1961, Nehru adopted a "Forward Policy" of setting up military outposts in disputed areas, including 43 outposts north of Zhou's LAC. Chinese leader Mao Zedong, at this time weakened by the failure of the Great Leap Forward, saw war as a means of reasserting his authority. On 8 September 1962, a Chinese unit attacked an Indian post at Dhola on the Thagla Ridge, three kilometers north of the McMahon Line. On 20 October China launched a major attack across the McMahon as well as another attack further north. The Sino-Indian War which followed was a national humiliation for India, with China quickly gaining control of NEFA. The Soviet Union, the United States, and Great Britain all pledged military aid to the Indians. China then withdrew to the McMahon Line and repatriated the Indian prisoners of war (1963)

India renamed NEFA as Arunachal Pradesh in 1972. In 1987, Arunachal Pradesh become the state of Union of India. China may have won the war, but did not benefited as a war winner, India normalized the disputed border land as the province of India, and mass migration from other part of India to the dispute land.

The McMahon Line was drawn by a strong colonist country on the area which is owned(by Tibet under Qing Dynasty of an independent China)and claimed by a newly established republic (Republic of China, a change of government with the same nation) which was still at their initial stage of nation building with internal problems, and no military power. Union of India was not formed yet, it is still colony of British Empire. Can a colonist which occupied other people's land by force, represented the country to draw a line to determine the border for other country(without their consent)? Legally that country has no legal ownership if based on today's law. It was an invasion by a strong colonist with a draw of pen...... the British then left after independence granted to India in 1948, another time bomb ( border dispute) left for the new nations to tackle. The hidden agenda behind The McMahon Line drawn by British India(a Colonist), is clearly and obviously the Tibet in the north....

The claims of both the People's Republic of China and the Republic of China to Tibet are based on the principle of "succession of states", as the Yuan and Qing Dynasties had exercised sovereignty over Tibet. Britain was the only country which held the view that China held suzerainty over Tibet but not full sovereignty, until 2008.

On October 29, 2008, David Miliband, the British Foreign Secretary, announced that Britain would recognize Tibet as historically part of the People’s Republic of China, i.e. recognize Chinese sovereignty over Tibet. Before this, Britain had officially recognized the PRC's relationship with Tibet as suzerainty. Britain was the last country to recognize China's sovereignty due to its prior invasion of Tibet, this recognition would impact the legitimacy of India's claim to South Tibet. Describing the old position as an anachronism and a colonial legacy, Mr. David Miliband, the British foreign secretary, even apologized for Britain's not having done so earlier.

Tibetologist Robert Barnett thinks that the decision has wider implications. India’s claim to a part of its northeast territories, for example, is largely based on the same agreements — notes exchanged during the Simla Convention of 1914, which set the boundary (the McMahon Line) between India and Tibet.

The question is can the past mistake of British India over McMahon Line still valid under International Law? Can the border of Tibet revert to the original border before the dirty hand of the colonist drew the famous is still a legal and political mess. Will the late recognizance do justice and fairness to China, and the people of China, which still suffered from the past political mistake of Britain during the colonial days, and thereafter effect of political problem in Tibet?........

Note: The video is about travel in Lohit Valley, from Tezu to Walong, Kibithu and up to the last Indian village on McMahon line. This is offered as a "Sunrise Excursion" by Vivikanand Girijan Kalyan Kendra, Tezu. The view is that of the producer not the blogger. This is to let readers have a view of the area around McMahon Line, which is security sensitive area.


麦克马洪线(英文:McMahon Line)是一条由英国探险家为印度测量时划的一条位于英属印度和西藏的边界。其走向起自不丹和西藏交界处,大致沿分水岭和山脊线至云南独龙江东南的伊素拉希山口,将传统上西藏当局享有管辖权、税收权和放牧权的约9万平方公里领土(这是传统说法,但根据矢量地图的测量方法,这块地方的面积大约是6.7万平方公里)都划进印度去。英属印度政府和印度都声称这条边界就是正式疆界。中国政府不承认该线。


中印边境战争是1962年6月或10月至11月间发生在中国和印度的藏南边境的战争。在中国被普遍称为中印边界自卫反击战,印度则称为瓦弄之战(Battle of Walong). 中印边界全长约1700公里,习惯上分为东、中、西三段:东段长约650公里,从中国、印度、缅甸三国交界处至中国、印度、不丹三国交界之处的底宛格里;中段,长约400公里,从西藏普兰县的中国、印度、尼泊尔三国交界处至札达县的6795高地;西段长约650公里,从札达县的6795高地至新疆的喀喇昆仑山口。整个边界从来没有正式划定过,但根据双方历史行政管辖所及,形成了一条传统习惯边界线,东段是沿喜马拉雅山脉南麓,中段是沿喜马拉雅山脉,西段是沿喀喇昆仑山脉。中印边境战争 的爆发不是偶然的,它有着深刻的历史根源和复杂的背景


中国与印度的边界约2000公里,分西、中、东三段。 到1951年前后,印军向北擴張取得麦克马洪线以南约9万平方公里领土。此外,在中段和西段,印度亦占得部分印中兩國爭議领土。1959年,印军越过双方实际控制线建立了43个据点。中国政府提出谈判解决边境问题,未得印度方面的接受。










11月16日至21日为战争的第二阶段。11月14日和16日,印军再次於中印边境發動进攻。在东线,中国西藏边防軍在东、西段對印军施以反击,至11月21日,中国西藏边防軍佔領了印军的16处据点。在西段,中国新疆边防軍則佔領了印军在班公洛地区的据点。由於印度軍隊在東線藏南、西線新疆失敗,印度朝野提議要求美國介入,當時印度總理賈瓦哈拉爾·尼赫魯(Jawaharlal Nehru)同意此說,向美國要求國際介入調停。1962年11月,美國介入並以物資支援印度軍隊。中國邊防軍宣佈停火,此後兩國即以麥克馬洪線為控制线,但爭議並未就此平息。



* 中国方面:從1959年实际控制線上,再向北撤退20公里。

* 印度方面:印度官方將藏南和達旺納入版圖。



西方記者馬克斯韋爾在《印度對華戰爭》(Neville Maxwell ,India's China War,London:Jonathan Cape Ltd.,1970)一書中寫道,「當中國軍隊取得重大勝利的時候,中國政府突然宣佈單方面無條件撤軍,這與其說讓全世界都鬆了一口氣,不如說是讓全世界都目瞪口呆。世界戰爭史上還從沒有過這樣的事情,勝利的一方在失敗者還沒有任何承諾的情況下,就單方面無條件撤軍,實際上也就是讓自己付出巨大代價來之不易的勝利成果化為烏有。」



* 时至今日,不论是中华人民共和国政府,还是中华民国政府都坚持要恢复麦克马洪线以南的原来边界。
* 今日中印实际控制线与此线走向比较相近,但并不重合。
* 1987年印度议会通过法令,正式将“麦克马洪线”以南中印争议地区和印缅边界一些地区合并建立阿鲁纳恰尔邦,中印争议地区的面积占该邦总面积的80%。
* 由于印度政府强烈要求占领全部争议地区,结果由于这条边界引致1962年的中印战争。
* 至今,印度已有约30万的移民屯居在这个争议的边境上。中国以后如果再提出边境问题,如何处理这些移民将有颇大困难。

(source: wikipedia)

As for China-India relationship and their border dispute, we hoped that the spirit of the slogan Hindi-Chini bhai-bhai. (India and China are brothers), which is in line with the China's traditional philosophy of " all man within four seas are brothers" will continue to prevail, and a win-win strategy to resolve the political mess left by the colonist. During the ancient time, especially the silk route era, China and India have benefited from the trading and cultural exchange, there were respect for each others. The relationship changed only after the colonist come, which took away all the riches of the two nations. As both countries have suffered from the colonization, and should know the value of peace, the benefit of trade and economic development; go on with the economic growth for the benefits of their people. Let the spirit of silk route revive.......

.....and remember the spirit of nation building of Dr Sun Yat-sen and Mahatma Gandhi...and do not fall into the traps of the global political games......the colonist will always come in different forms, they died hard and mutates....

Related articles:
1. China angered by Dalai Lama's India visit, Do you believed it is only religion visit or is it political visit like Taiwan visit, to politically sensitive areas to boost his political image, a publicity tactic?)
2. Bordering on Danger, By MOHAN MALIK,
3. 共和国战争:1962中印边境冲突(1-13), youtubes.
4. 冷暖人生2009年10月13日A:老兵往事--喜马拉雅的枪声, youtubes

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