China’s Serious Border Disputes With Most Neighbours – Unilateral Approach – India the Bulwark – Comprehensive Story – Air Power Asia

Comment by tonytran2015: (, posted 2017 April 01, , , ,
, posted 2017 Aug 24th., , France has NOT given to China Paracel and Spratly island, ).

The Galwan Valley Stand-off has once again brought the attention of the world to Chinese approach to border disputes. Disputes with some countries have been resolved through arm-twisting and there are some like Pakistan who have ceded huge areas of land to seek military and financial help and the end to a great extent ceded sovereignty. It is interesting to know the various disputes and the approach being taken.

Japan – The Disputed Islands in East China Sea

There is a territorial dispute over a group of uninhabited islands in the East China Sea called the Senkaku Islands in Japan and the Diaoyu in China…

China – Vietnam Border Dispute

The border between China consists of a terrestrial border, and a maritime border in Gulf of Tonkin and South China Sea (SCS)…

Nepal – China Boundary Issues

Nepal shares a 1,439km Himalayan border with China’s Tibet Autonomous Region, and was demarcated by surveyors of the two countries in 1963 after a two-year mission along the world’s highest mountains. The demarcation set Mt Everest on the boundary
between the two countries. China claims parts of Nepal dating back to the Sino-Nepalese War in 1788-1792, and says they were part of Tibet, therefore part of China. Nepalese media reports that several of its Himalayan villages are now in Chinese territory

China -North Korea – Paektu Mountain and Jiandao

There has been a historical dispute about the Paektu
Mountain. Manchu and Korean officials surveyed the area and negotiated a
border agreement in 1712. To mark the agreement, they built a monument
describing the boundary at a watershed, near the south of the crater
lake at the mountain peak. The interpretation of the inscription caused a
territorial dispute from the late 19th century to the early 20th
century, and is still disputed.

Sino-Soviet Border Issues

The Sino-Soviet border conflict was a seven-month
undeclared war in 1969. The most serious of these border clashes, occurred in March 1969 in the vicinity of Zhenbao Island on the Ussuri
River, near Manchuria. In 1933 in northwest China’s Xinjiang province, China’s nationalist Kuomintang recognized for the first time the ethnic category of the Uyghur people, following Soviet ethnic policy… These pre-modern states’ wars against Chinese dynasties were cast as struggles for national liberation by the Uyghur ethnic group. …

…the Chinese now indirectly demanded territorial concessions on the basis
that the 19th-century treaties transferring ownership of the sparsely populated Outer Manchuria, concluded by Qing dynasty of China and the Russian Empire, were “Unequal Treaties”, and amounted to annexation of
rightful Chinese territory…

South Korea and China

… both countries declared a 200 nautical mile (nm) exclusive economic zone
(EEZ), which resulted in significant overlap of the Chinese and South
Korean zones. Multiple rounds of meetings to conclude a delimitation
agreement, have not been successful…

China’s Claims on Bhutan

Unlike Tibet, Bhutan had no history of being under the suzerainty of China nor being under British
suzerainty during the British Raj.

…In July 1959, along with the occupation of Tibet, the Chinese PLA occupied several Bhutanese enclaves in western Tibet which were under Bhutanese administration for more than 300 years and had been given to Bhutan by a Ladakhi King Singye Namgya in the 17th century. These
included Darchen, Labrang Monastery, Gartok, and several smaller
monasteries and villages near Mount Kailas. A Chinese map published in 1961 showed China claiming territories in Bhutan, Nepal and the Kingdom of Sikkim (now a state of India)…

Taiwan — China Disputes and Relations

… the administration
of Taiwan was transferred from Japan at the end of World War II in 1945
and the subsequent split of China into the above two in 1949 as a result of civil war…

Laotian – Chinese relations

China claims large areas of Laos on historical precedent
(China’s Yuan Dynasty, 1271-1368)…. The low point in Sino-Laotian relations came in 1979, with reports of Chinese assistance and training of Hmong resistance forces under General Vang Pao in China’s Yunnan Province….This hostile relationship gradually softened…

China–Tajikistan Border Dispute – One sided Resolution

Chinese have claimed part of Tajikistan territory based on historical precedent (Qing Dynasty, 1644-1912). Their bilateral relations were established on January 4, 1992, shortly after the
dissolution of the Soviet Union…

Indonesia and Territorial disputes in the South China Sea

Parts of China’s unilaterally claimed nine-dash line overlap Indonesia’s exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) near the Natuna islands

Mongolia – China Historic Issues

The Great Wall was constructed to ward off the northern nomads attacks,
from the Xiongnu during the Qin Dynasty, the Turks during the Tang Dynasty, and later, the Mongolians and Central Asians. In 1271, Mongols under Kublai Khan, grandson of Genghis Khan, established the Yuan Dynasty and conquered all of China in 1279. In 1368, the Chinese under the Ming Dynasty successfully expelled the
Mongols from China and in 1388, sacked the Northern Yuan’s capital at Karakorum…
Mongolia has always been suspicious that China wants to claim Mongolian territory based on some old historical documents that suit them, (a)nd concerned by fears of China’s over-population pouring into Mongolian territory...

Broad India China Dispute

Sovereignty over two relatively large and several smaller separated pieces of territoryhas been contested between China and India. The two major parts being the Aksai Chin in Indian union territory of Ladakh, currently administered by China as part of the Chinese autonomous region of Xinjiang. The other disputed territory lies south of the McMohan Line, formerly called the North East Frontier Agency, and is now called Arunachal Pradesh. The McMahon Line was part
of the 1914 Simla Convention between British India and Tibet, without participation of China. As of 2020, India continues to maintain that the McMahon Line as the legal border, while China has never accepted the border, stating
that Tibet was never independent. Around 1962, Chinese troops crossed
the McMahon line and, during a one-month war, pushed forward to establish a “Line of Actual Control”. A border conflict escalated into a second war in 1967, at the end of which India stated
it had established a new “Line of Actual Control”; no further military deaths occurred until 2020. In 1987 and in 2013 potential conflicts over the two differing Lines of Actual Control were successfully
de-escalated. A conflict involving a Bhutanese-controlled area on the
border between Bhutan and China was successfully de-escalated in 2017 following injuries to both Indian and Chinese troops. Multiple brawls broke out in 2020, escalating to dozens of deaths in June 2020…

China’s global cartographic aggression has no parallel. The periodicity with which China changes its territorial claims gives an indication that the Communist Party of China (CPC) randomly picks old maps that suit China’s hegemonic expansionist ambitions.

Practically in all disputes they have tried to expand territory. Be that with Russia, Pakistan, Tajiks, and in the South China Sea. In all these cases the countries chose not to stand up or fight the Chinese. The Vietnamese fought. Taiwan and Japan are taking firm stand. India has been taking a firm stand in last few years

As Bhutanese journalist Tenzing Lamsang writes “If we are to go by territorial claims then Greece, Rome, Mongolia, Spain and Britain should divide the world between the five of them. They would have maps, treaties, proof of tributes, evidence of rule and what not”.

Published by Anil Chopra

I am the founder of Air Power Asia and a retired Air Marshal from the Indian Air Force.

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