Friday, October 19, 2012

Indo-Sino War 1962: A Retrospect

October 20 marks the 50th anniversary of China's invasion on the Indian forces over the Himalayan frontier in 1962. During the war the Chinese forces advanced as far as the plains of Assam in India.
Since then the border between these tow Asian giants has been a bone of contention between these two countries. Fourteen rounds of talks have not been able to yield any significant results. Though another war seems unlikely, friction on the border is frequent and it will take time that complete normalcy is restored in the relations between two countries.
Below is a look at what happened during the Indo-Sino war in 1962.
When India became independent in 1947, its relation with the Communist China was on friendly terms. But it was not to be so for long due to Chinese attitude towards Tibet, then an autonomous state under the suzerainty of China. India, on the other had, had a friendly relation with Tibet.  However, when China invaded Tibet in 1950 and latter’s autonomy came to an end. This created a sense of apprehension in India as China was showing signs of its expansionist policy.

Indian troops during a military training drill in  Assam - Indo-Sino War 1962

All was well till Panch Sheel  (Five Principles as the basis of their friendly relations) was signed between these two countries on 20th April, 1954. All these changed when China, in utter disregard of the Panch Sheel, published maps where 132, 090 square kilometers of Indian territory were included wrongly. The situation came to a head when China overran Tibet in 1959 and Dalai Lama, the spiritual head of Tibet, and a large number of Tibetans were forced to take refuge in India. Meanwhile China occupied approximately 31,000 square kilometers of Indian territory.
Chinese troops during the Indo-Sino War 1962.
On 20th October, 1962, China embarked on an attack on Ladakh and NEFA (North East Frontier Agency), to the north of Assam. Indian soldiers fought bravely but were vastly outnumbered. As a result they were not able to offer a significant resistance in NEFA (Now Arunachal Pradesh). Chinese captured Bomdi La in Arunachal Pradesh and also occupied portions of Ladakh claimed by them.   
However, on 21st November, China declared a unilateral ceasefire and thus the war came to an end.   

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