China’s recent aggression at the border with India at key strategic locations in Union Territory of Ladakh is nothing new nor is its betrayal of historic treaties with (former) J&K, Tibet & HK. However, the dragon now faces a new India that attempts to tame it.
China already occupies about 1/5th of original state of Jammu & Kashmir incl. Aksai Chin and Sakshgam valley “gifted” by #Pakistan. However, historically, these parts have been a part of formerly princely state of J&K that officially & legally became a part of India in 1947. Not just J&K but significant parts of Tibet were also controlled by J&K rulers. Here’s the chronology of how China illegally occupied these territories and clearly flouted the treaties signed during these times.
In May of 1841, General Zorawar Singh, under the Sikh Empire, lead a military campaign to extend the boundary of the empire after the conquest of Ladakh to control Trade routes in the region. General Zorawar Singh invaded western Tibet to extend territory as well as to build a connecting road between Ladakh and Nepal for a Sikh-Gurkha alliance against the British. It is estimated that this invasion was a response to attacks on Ladakh by Tibet.
In an astonishing feat, General Zorawar Singh and his men traversed this inhospitable terrain by extending the communication & supply line over small forts and pickets, aiming to regain lost territories of Ladakh to western Tibet, prior to the treaty of Tingmosgang. After occupying Tibetan military posts of Gartok and Taklakot, the Dogra army consisting of Ladakhis, Ksihtwaris and Baltis, was intercepted by the Tibetan army in November, 1841, and a 3-week long battle ensued. It led to demise of the Dogra general.
However, to regain the lost territories, Sino-Tibetan army attacked Ladakh in 1842 but the siege was thwarted by Diwan Hari Chand & Wazir ratnu. Tibetans were defeated by the Dogras in August 1842 which led to the treaty of Chushul. In Sep. 1842, Qing China & Sikh empire signed the Treaty of Chushul that fortified the existing territories and agreed to no transgressions in other country’s frontiers.
On Oct.7, 1950 as the world resisted colonialism & territorial invasions, The People’s Liberation Army invaded the peaceful budhhist-majority country of Tibet. The genocide that followed was solely for terrirtorial pursuits of China’s Communist govt. China then illegally occupied Indian territory of Aksai Chin claiming it as Tibetan ecclesial territory. Why India did not raise this issue then could be matter of conflict but when the dragon breathes at our neck again, silence is no more the solution.
In 1963, Pakistan ceded to China the territories of India it had occupied, namely the Shaksgam Valley. Not only is it illegal for China to occupy Shaksgam but also it’s a key defence location of India that gives us access to sensitive defence areas. china’s occupation and invasion into India’s territories is a strategically planned incision to establish easier links between Tibet and Xinjiang. Recent CPEC deal is a proof of this plan.
From Aksai Chin to Xinjiang to Karakoram Pass through the CPEC, China gets an access to Indian Ocean in the west, completing its String of pearls joining its ports in the Indian Ocean-East. This is the biggest alarm for India that seems to be encircled by the Dragon.
With the world opinion solidifying against China and its invasion tactics out in the open, this is the perfect time for India to raise this issue and aggressively respond to China’s folly!
(The article is a compilation of tweet thread by @teambharat_)