Elucidate the geography of "areas of dispute"between India and China. Despite the fact that these areas are much larger than Pak-Occupied Kashmir (PoK), least attention is paid to them in Indian media. Discuss the reasons.

Published: May 10, 2017

The territories that are disputed between India and China include:

  • The Aksai Chin region- This is a region which is claimed by India to be a part of the state of Jammu and Kashmir in the district of Ladakh, while it is also claimed by China to be a part of the district of Xinjiang. It is an almost uninhabited area located at a very high altitude.
  • South of McMohan line- This region refers to the state of Arunanchal Pradesh, formerly known as the North East Frontier Agency. This region was made a part of India during the Simla Agreement of 1914 between British India and China. But the same has been rejected by China.

Although the reason for less media attention is not clear, some of the possible reasons could be:

  • Insurgency issues- The border disputes between India and Pakistan have not remained confined to mere border issues. It has led to charges of insurgency and cross-border terrorism on Pakistan. The recent ceasefires, attack on army base camps has made the situation worse. But on the other hand, the disputes with China have not developed into untoward incidents. Although both sides criticize each other for their stances, the rivalry is not so overt like this.
  • Geography of the area- Unlike the claim of Pakistan with respect to J & K, which along with religious, has political and economic significance also, this particular region of Aksai-Chin does not have such a huge importance. It only provides habitat to some nomadic tribes and is mostly consisting of empty lines.
  • China’s military strength- It is an undisputed fact that China’s economic and military strength is much greater than that of India. India has also experienced this in the 1962 Sino-India war. So, it is preferable to solve the issue through peace talks and involvement of USA than fight China single handedly.
  • Peace talks- Unlike the PoK issue, India and China have achieved some success in negotiating over the Line of Actual Control (LAC) unlike the LOC. So, peace and diplomatic talks are likely to play a better role than media coverage and open criticism.

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