ACROSS THE HIMALAYAN GAP
BUILDING SECURITY AND CONFIDENCE WITH CHINA
Except for the brief period of confrontation between
19591992 and the diplomatic freeze that followed for next few years the
relations between China and India had never been conflictual in nature. But
because of the complicated colonial legacies - which were further compounded
by the Cold War dynamics and by the border war of 1962 - mutual distrust and
threat perceptions have continued to undermine all efforts towards building
confidence. One may ask why confidence and security building measures (CSBMs)
between India and China are so critical to the evolution of their
multifaceted and multilayered rapprochement?
The one line answer would be that these CSBMs present a perfect barometer
for any crystal gazing into the future of these two Asian giants. However,
this answer remains far too simplistic to explain the complexity of
Go-Indian ties. And it is in this context of complications that this essay
tries to examine and highlight Sino-Indian CSBMs in terms of their being the
first significant step forward untying the knots in the bilateral relations
and mutual perceptions.
Firstly, to deal with the theoretical elements of Sine-Indian CSBMs, it has been unjustifiably fashionable to view Sino-Indian CSBMs essentially in the framework of western ready-made models. If anything, the CSBMs in the Asian context have far preceded all western models and, therefore, are neither borrowed from nor identical to those leading to the Final Act of the Helsinki process of the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe (CSCE) that was concluded in 1975. Beginning from the Joint Defence Council of 1948 that effected the division of assets and armed forces between India and Pakistan to the Sino-Indian Panchsheel Agreement of 1954, and later the Indo-Pak Simla agreement of 1971, various formal and informal agreements had already effected these CSBMs like “non-use”, or the “selective use” of armed force and created various other mechanisms. Therefore these CSBMs had been institutionalised in Asia far earlier. Besides, these were also far more broad based than the Western CSBMs, including those that were later incorporated the Document of the Conference on Disarmament in Europe held in 1986 at Stockholm (Sweden).
Coming to the salient features of what can be described
as the Asian CSBMs that distinguish the Sino-Indian CSBMs from most of their
comparable Western models, one sees the near absence of a subjective feeling
in the Asian context of an imminent threat which is so central to all those
Western conceptions of CSBMs.
In Asia’s rather lose polycentric situation, nations had never been so
clearly divided as are the communist and liberal democratic traditions that
characterise the bipolar division of the West. Similarly, the second basic
condition of equality of the military strength between the potential parties
to the conflict, again seems very much a Eurocentric feature of CSBMs and is
generally missing in the Asian situation.
China, India and Pakistan can themselves be cited as ideal examples of this
asymmetry of power. Nevertheless, CSBMs have continued to evolve amongst
these three countries. Thirdly, the inter-state boundaries which form the
basic element of European CSBMs are itself a major problem and therefore the
very objective towards which most Asian CSBMs seek to provide solutions,
Also, Asian CSBMs are generally backed by ever widening network of measures
like state sponsored people-to-people contacts which are aimed at expanding
mutual trust and understanding between the entire social elite on both
Nor should we regard the Asian CSBMs in general and the
Sino-Indian CSBMs in particular as the byproduct of the post-Cold War peace
dividend although the global factors, have surely been much more influential
in moulding the European CSBMs than those between Asian countries. This is
because unlike Europe, (a) the conflicts in Asia were never seen to be vital
to the national interests of both the super powers: and, (b) the middle
ranking powers like China and India have become increasingly independent
from the regimented bipolar world order of the Cold War years. To give two
most apt examples, contrary to Cold War trends, India had initiated its
CSBMs during the mid-1970s and India’s Foreign Minister, Atal Behari
Vajpai, paid his first visit to Beijing at the lime when China was launching
its war against Vietnam and the Soviet forces were about to enter
Afghanistan yet, despite India’s closeness to Moscow, the new Cold War of
the early 1980s did not disturb the smooth evolution of Sine-Indian rapprochement
Similarly, following the June 1989 Tiananmen Square incident, while most
of world powers had imposed sanctions thus completely isolating China, the
relations between China and India not only continued to be smooth but
experienced a greater momentum: the period from the second half through 1989
and 1990 saw 10 high-level visits between the two countries that included
visits to New Delhi by Vice Premier Wu Xueqian in October 1989 and by
Foreign Minister Qian Qichen in March 1990. The credit for this goes
to (a) this unique Asian way of trial and error which, therefore, lends some
sort of originality of these Sino-Indian CSBMs, and (b) to the political
leadership of both the countries who were able to take and stand by such
If anything, it is their expanding interactions at
various levels that has been the greatest single factor behind the evolution
of Sino-Indian CSBMs. (see Table 1) Starting from their exchange of
Ambassadors in 1976, these expanding official and business interactions can
be divided into three major phases. The first phase (1976-1988), was
characterised by both China and lndia
looking at each other simply
gauging the potential for expanding mutual goodwill and trust. Second phase
(1988-1996), which witnessed five formal summits interspersed by hectic
initiatives and agreements towards evolving and consolidating CSBMs. Then
having established this strong network of CSBMs the recent four agreements
signed during President Jiang Zemin’s visit to New Delhi in November 1996,
Sino-Indian rapprochement has now
entered into its third and final phase where the two are expected to take
concrete decisions on more difficult issues like the boundary question.
A quick glance through this evolution from freeze to
fervour shows how, though no breakthrough has yet been achieved on the
crucial boundary question quite a substantial progress has been made
considering the complicated and knotty ground realities. The historic f 988
visit to Beijing by Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi had worked as a catalyst in
facilitating a U-turn in Sino- Indian relations.
Especially, considering Indian sensitivities vis-a-vis China, this visit
itself was an extremely bold initiative. But more than this, in the Joint
Communiqué at the end of this visit India agreed, for the first time, to
dropping its earlier policy stance of asking for settlement of the border as
a precondition for any improvement in relations in other fields. Secondly,
India not only agreed to describe Tibet as an integral part of (not just an
autonomous region) of China but also expressed "concern over
anti-Chinese activities by some Tibetan elements in India” -a proviso
which was criticised by some as a clear sell-out of the Tibetan interests.
India’s over-reaction towards Tibetan protesters during the visit by
Premier Li Peng in 1991 was another demonstration of India’s resolve in
not letting Tibet become a problem in the way of Sino-Indian rapprochement.
All this meant that, Rajiv Gandhi’s visit had finally abandoned
India’s discredited forwards policy and, at least during the interim,
accepted China’s long-standing demand for the maintenance of tranquillity
on the line of actual control (LoAC).
There were also some legal hurdles to this visit. The
historic November 1962 resolution of Indian Parliament had bound successive
Indian leaders from making any move towards improving Sino-Indian ties until
they had obtained every inch of India’s sacred land claimed or taken by
the Chinese. But this December 1988 visit by Rajiv Gandhi to Beijing became
possible because of another major resolution that was passed by the All
India Congress Working Committee on November 5, 1988 urging the government
to seek a settlement through “peaceful negotiations” based on “mutual
interest” and “acceptable to the peoples of both countries” even if it
Apart from minor objections, no main national political parties raised any
hue and cry against these “concession” by Rajiv Gandhi. This was because
(a) the Congress Party, at this time, had an overwhelming majority in Indian
Parliament and (b) the earlier major, initiative towards building peace with
China had been taken during the Janata Party government in February 1979.
Moreover, eight rounds of border talks (initiated during Foreign Minister,
Huang Hua’s visit to New Delhi in 1981) had already created some sort of
favourable backdrop. (see Table 2).
Apart from these interactions at the political level,
Rajiv Gandhi’s visit also opened avenues for direct military interactions.
Because of the 1962 war, any interaction between the military personnel or
on defence related matters remained a taboo until the early 1990s. The first
exchange in this direction was made by the senior serving officials of the
National Defence College (New Delhi) and the National Defence University
(Beijing) respectively visiting each other in 1990 and 1992.The
two have also since been considering undertaking an arrangement for an
institutional exchange wherein at least one officer could attend the others
training courses. The military-to-military dialogue was taken to a higher
level by India’s Defence Minister, Sharad Pawar’s visit to China in July
This opened the way and was followed by Vice Chief of China’s People’s
Liberation Army, Lt. General Xu Huizi, visiting India in December 1993
followed by a visit by their Defence Minister, Chi Haotian’s visit to
India during September 7-13, 1994. From the
Indian side, Chief of Army Staff, General B.C. Joshi and Chief of Naval
Staff, Admiral V.S. Shekhawat paid reciprocal visits to various defence
facilities in China during July 1994 and March 1996 respectively. This
increasing interaction and transparency between the two military
establishments has surely contributed to the building up of mutual
Once again, just like the lack of interactions and other
historical legacies had coloured their visions during the earlier years,
increasing information and confidence has led to revision and rectification
of various policies on both sides. One good example of this spectrum of
biases in perceptions can be seen in the way various China watchers
interpreted the incident when in May 1992 China detonated a 150 megaton
nuclear device just hours after President R. Venkatraman arrived in Beijing.
While some called it an act of intimidation, others described it as an
expression of China’s solidarity with India in their strategic defiance of
Washington. However, with persistent efforts from both sides, a relatively
more objective understanding of each other has started to emerge during the
1990s. Observing the tenor of policy pronouncements from both sides there
appears to be an obvious shift of emphasis away from the assertion of huge
territorial claims or high moral principles increasingly towards “mutual
concessions” and "accommodation ”from the Chinese side and on
historical, legal, geographical realities from the Indian side with both now
calling for a “fair, reasonable, and mutually acceptable” compromise
solution to their boundary question.
Also both sides today have far greater mutual
understanding on various issues ranging from global problematic like the US
nuclear non-proliferation to regional and bilateral contentions like
Kashmir, Tibet, and border. As a result, while owing to their ideological
systems and methods of operation the two had appeared to be dramatical
opposites during the 1950s over the years the two sides have begun to
appreciate and emphasise on their similarities and evolved common approach
on certain issues like nuclear disarmament, trade and human rights. On the
nuclear question, for example, while China has sought to keep its own
nuclear build-up completely insulated from the ongoing disarmament debates
between Moscow and Washington: yet, Beijing has also generally kept a low
profile on India’s nuclear and missile programme and, in fact, assisted
India by supplying heavy water at a crucial stage in January 1995.
Nevertheless, there still exist differences of approach on various issues
and inspite of substaintial improvement, India has continued to be deeply
concerned about China’s supplies of nuclear components, materials and
knowhow to other countries in India’s neighbourhood. This is especially
true of China’s indulgence with Pakistan. Yet, in the end, all this has
never discouraged India from making efforts at improving ties with both
Beijing and Islamabad.
From the Indian side, these efforts for rapprochement
had all started as early as late 1960s. Later, starting from Sardar
Swaran Singh’s (then Foreign Minister) offer in August 1970 “to settle
all matters...peacefully through bilateral negotiations,” India not only
became the first one to take many major initiatives but also became the
first one to declare and actually resume its Ambassadorial level diplomatic
relations with Beijing.
Besides, India also made many other goodwill gestures towards China like
installing telex links in each others embassies, supporting China’s
candidacy for the Manila-based Asian Development Bank, inviting China to a
regional UNESCO conference in New Delhi, and Prime Minister Mrs. Indira
Gandhi herself making a personal gesture by visiting and signing the book of
condolences in the Chinese embassy in New Delhi as mark of respect for the
late Premier Zhou Enlai. The first feelers from the Chinese side came in May
1960 and April 1961 from then Vice Premier Deng
Xiaoping who revived Zhou Enlai’s 1960 proposal for a
package deal on the boundary question.
Here, Deng proposed Chinese recognition of the McMahon Line in the eastern
sector in return for Indian acceptance of the status quo along the LoAC in
the western sector. In fact, according to Mrs. Gandhi’s foreign policy
Advisor, G. Parthasarthy, Mrs. Gandhi had even agreed to accept the Chinese
package deal only that, with the Chinese assent, the formal announcement had
been postponed until after December 1985 general elections.
Soon the assassination of Mrs. Gandhi in October 1984 and later the
Sumdorong Chu valley incident in July 1966 completely rocked this spirit of
accommodation and delayed major initiatives by f9w more years.
A clear shift in China’s South Asia policy, however,
began to occur from late 1960s when Beijing gradually gave up its earlier
post-1962 tactics of providing moral and material support to India’s
smaller neighbours which was aimed at: (a) tying New Delhi down to the South
Asian region and, (b) trying to offset India’s preeminence even in this
smaller region. In 1969, for example, China not only refused to supply
weapons to Nepal and gave only muted response to India’s peacekeeping in
Sri Lanka, it even told General Ershad of Bangladesh to expect no more
Chinese support on their river water dispute with New Delhi.
This has since resulted in improving India’s relations with both
Bangladesh and Nepal. Putting an end to its dilly-dallying of late 1980s,
the Rao-Li joint statement of December 1991 clearly told China’s closest
ally Pakistan that Beijing now regards Kashmir as a bilateral issue between
India and Pakistan. Since then China’s position on Kashmir has also
undergone a marked change on at least two basic counts: (a) by describing it
as a bilateral issue between India and Pakistan that should be dealt not
under UN resolutions of 1954 but the 1972 Simla Agreement, and (b) by
broadly agreeing to underline the fear from “Islamic fundamentalism”. In
the second case, the Joint Statement did not directly mention either
India’s Kashmir or China’s Xinjiang yet, as both these provinces share
common borders with Pakistan, the statement has clear implications for
Islamabad. But nothing perhaps
stands comparison to the first Magna Carta on Sine-Indian CSBMs that came
two years later and was a part of the next Rat-Li Joint Statement from
By any standards, this nine-point “Agreement on
Maintenance of Peace and Tranquillity along the Line of Actual Control
(henceforth MPTA), signed between two Prime Ministers Narasimha Rao and Li
Peng at Beijing’s Great Hall of the People on September 7, 1993 has been
the corner-stone of Sine-Indian CSBMs.
Though already in vogue since the Rajiv Gandhi visit to Beijing in 1988, it
was this agreement that formally institutionalised the process of
Sine-Indian CSBMs.19 Picking up strings from India’s first CSBM agreement
of April 1954, the MPTA reiterates its faith in Panchsheel
and asserts that these Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence should
form the basis of all inter-state relations. But unlike in the earlier
Sino-Indian Panchsheel agreement
where India unilaterally made major concessions, the MPTA clearly represents
equality of two nations and lays out various CSBMs that should further
buttress Sino-Indian rapprcchement. This business-like spirit
is crystal clear throughout its concise text that details on number of
Article one of MPTA starts by highlighting the consensus
where both sides wish to resolve the boundary question “through peaceful
and friendly consultations” and where both undertake to “strictly
respect and observe the line of actual control” and never to “use or
threaten to use force” and whenever necessary “jointly check and
determine the segments” of their border. Article Two makes a far more
concrete recommendation asking the two sides to keep their border military
presence “to a minimum level compatible with the friendly and
goodneighbourly relations” and to further agree “to reduce” them “in
conformity with the requirements of the principle of mutual and equal
security” Taking off from here, Article Three talks of evolving
“effective CBMs” and asks each side not to “undertake specified levels
of military exercises in mutually identified zones” and to “give the
other notification of military exercises” along the border. Articles Four
and Five speak about their agreement to create mechanisms for dealing with
intrusions and other exigencies while in Article Six both sides clarify that
despite these resolutions nothing in this treaty shall “prejudice their
respective positions on the boundary question.” To actually kick off
initiatives Article Seven asks both sides to start by specifically defining
the “form, method, scale and content of effective verification
measures”, and Article Eight initiates this process by asking each side to
“appoint diplomats and military experts to formulate, through mutual
consultations, implementation measures for the present agreement”, and
this setting up of an Expert Group can be easily described as the greatest
achievement of this pact in terms of building Sino-Indian CSBMs. Finally,
Article Nine gives its date of coming into effect and declares all its
versions - Hindi, Chinese, English - as equally valid.
The second CSBMs agreement was signed during President
Jiang Zemin’s visit to New Delhi in November 1998. This is a 12 Article
document that partly fulfils the agenda of their first CSBM agreement of
1993 and it further seeks to extend the CBMs to more specific and sensitive
areas in the military field.
Going by its first Article that reads “Neither side shall use its military
capability against the other side”, it virtually stands out as a No War
Pact and both sides have also projected it in that light. The agreement
begins with (Article II) recognising that both have “different
perceptions” on certain segments of border for which the two have agreed
“to speed up the process of clarification” and under Article X both
sides agree 40 exchange maps indicating their respective perceptions... as
soon as possible.” It is this businesslike approach to these sensitive
questions that gives hope for the future as it depicts !heir growing mutual
confidence on the current pace of their rapprochement.
As regards evolving CBMs in the military field, the
agreement makes a serious attempt at effecting reductions in their military
manpower and equipment deployed in the border areas. There had been major
confusion as China does not consider their deployments in Tibet as being
open for mutual reductions where India believes that Chinese forces on the
Tibetan plateau have clear one-to-ten advantage against Indian forces.
Accordingly, Article III provides that keeping with “the principle of
mutual and equal security” all future ceilings are expected to be based on
“perimeters such as the nature of terrain, road communications and other
infrastructure and time taken to induct/deinduct troops and armaments.”
Article IV clearly categonses certain type of offensive weapons withdrawal
of which will be given priority These include combat tanks, infantry combat
vehicles, guns (including howitzers) with 75 mm or bigger calibre, mortars
with 120 mm or bigger calibre, surface-to-surface missiles, surface-to- air
missiles and to start with the two sides will “exchange data on the
military forces and armament” that are to be reduced. It also exhorts the
two sides to ‘avoid holding large scale military exercises involving more
than one Division (15,000 troops) in close proximity to the LoAc” and to
inform the other side on “type, level, planned duration and areas of
exercise” in case it involves more than a Brigade (5,000 troops) and about
deinduction “within five days of completion.” The other side is free to
seek any number of clarifications as it deems necessary.
Taking a major step forward, the two agree that no combat
aircraft which “include fighter, bomber, reconnaissance, military trainer,
armed helicopter and other armed aircraft” shall be allowed to fly
“within ten kilometers” of the LoAC “except by prior permission”
from the other side (Article V). Similarly, Article VI prohibits any use of
“hazardous chemicals, conduct blast operations or hunt with guns or
explosives within two kilometers” of the LoAC unless it is “part of
developmental activities” in which case the other side shall be informed
“through diplomatic channels or by convening a border personnel meeting,
preferably five days in advance.” Then to “strengthen exchanges and
cooperation between their military personnel and establishments” Article
VII provides that the two sides shall (a) increase “meetings between their
border representatives at designated places, (b) expand “telecommunication
links” between these border points, and (c) establish “step-by-step
medium and high-level contacts between the border authorities” of the two
sides. Should any land or air intrusions take place “because of
unavoidable circumstances like natural disasters” the other side is
expected under Article VIII to “extend all possible assistance to them”
and the two shall exchange information and have consultations to work out
“modalities of return of the concerned personnel.” And finally, as won
as the Sino-Indian Joint Working Group on Boundary Question starts “mutual
consultations” (Article Xl) for “detailed implementation measures”,
each side shall have (Article IX) “the right to seek clarification”
regarding the “manner in which the other side is observing the
agreement” or on any “doubtful situation” in the border region.
Finally, under Article XII though all Hindi, Chinese and English versions
are “equally authentic”, but “in case of divergence, the English text
shall prevail.” This agreement has since been ratified by both sides and
instrument of ratification were exchanged at the JWG’s tenth meeting in
New Delhi in August 1997.
These two agreements apart from being a major take-off
point for many fresh initiatives, have also provided a major boost to
existing “mechanisms” for their border related CSBMs. The Joint Working
Group on Boundary Question has been one most effective and generic forum for
implementing Sino-Indian CSBMs. (see Table 3) To begin with, the JWG has
institutionalised regular meetings of military commanders from both sides at
the following four points: Bumla and Dichu in the eastern sector, Lipulekh
near Pithoragarh (U.P.) in the middle sector and Spanggur near Chushul in
the western sector. These meetings are organised and conducted by these area
commanders from the two sides to establish facts on the ground and can also
be held more than once in case of any exigencies. Besides, commanders on
both sides are now provided with “hotline” links to ensure consultations
in case of any intrusions or other emergencies. Advance notices of proposed
military manoeuvres on one side is provided to the other and mechanisms for
handling possible intrusions on either side are put in place. The high point
of these JWG meetings occurred during its eighth meeting during August 1995
at New Delhi where the two sides agreed to actually dismantle four border
posts in the Wangdong tract where troops had been deployed at an alarming
proximity to each other. Apart from their land-based troops, the two air
forces have also been building ties and officers of the People’s
Liberation Army-Air Force (PLAAF) have already visited India’s Air Force
bases in 1995.
Similarly, the two navies have also been working together allaying each
others doubts about Chinese naval presence in Myanmar or India’s maritime
capabilities at its Fortress Andaman. India has offered to China’s envoy
to visit Indian naval base at Port Blair in Andaman and Nicobar. At a
certain stage there were even reports of China and India preparing for joint
military and naval exercises which, however, was denied by the Chinese side.
Then there are various other bold initiatives that come
about from outside the framework of JWG. (see Table 4) Within less than two
months of the MPTA, for example, a Chinese ship “Zheng He” made a port
visit to Bombay, which was the first of its kind in last 35 years. Before
this only INS Mysore had visited Shanghai in 1958. Also, working on the
basis of Chiunese guanxi (personal
contacts) principle, exchanges between other opinion makers and members of
strategic research institutions (like Institute for Defence Studies &
Analyses, United Services Institution of India, Centre for Policy Research,
and Rajiv Gandhi Foundation from India and China institute for Contemporary
International Relations, China Association for Friendly International
Contact, Fudan University etc. from China) have also been increasingly
formalised. Similarly, Xinhua, People’s Dai and Beijing Review have their accredited
correspondents in India and India’s Press
Trust of India has a resident reporter in Beijing. The agreements on
exchange of scholars (between the Indian Council for Social Science Research
and Chinese Academy of Social Sciences signed at New Delhi in January 1992)
and their Agreement on Radio and Television Cooperation (signed in Beijing
on September 7, 1993) have broadly contributed to expanding mutual
awareness. The Festival of China was staged in India in 1992 and Festival of
India was held in China in April 1994. In fact, the Communist Party of China
now has direct links with the Indian National Congress, the Bharatiya Janata
Party and the Communist Party of India (Marxists). The two had also tried
opening up direct flights between New Delhi and Beijing and now have telecom
lines between various cities of the two countries. Contact have also evolved
between various NGOs like trade unions and woman organisations, stimulating
a great deal of interest and confidence.
 Zhao Weiwen
and Giri Deshingkar. “Improving Sino-lndo Relations”, in Michael
Krepon and Amit Sevak (ed.), Crisis Prevention..., op.
cit, p. 227; Sumit Ganguly, op.
cit., p. 12.
 Document of
the Stockholm Conference, CSCE/SC 9.
 Masahiko Asada.
“Confidence-Building Measures in East Asia”, Asian Survey, VoLxxvii
No. 5, (May 1986) p. 491.
 Zhen Ruixiang, “Shifting obstacles in Sine-Indian relations”, The Pacific Review, Vol. 6, No.1 (1993) p. 66.
Chuan. “Peking’s relations with
India and Pakistan”, Issues & Studies, Vol. 25, No. 9 (September
1969), p. 146
 Prime Minister
Rajiv Gandhi, ‘India-China Joint Press Communique”, Statement on
Foreign Policy, (New Delhi: Ministry of External Affairs, External
Publicity Division, October 1969), pp. 62-64; also Giri Deshingkar,
‘Gains from the China visit”, The Indian Express (New Delhi), 9
 Sujit Mansingh,
” India-China relations in the post-Cold War era”, Asian Survey,
VoLxxiv, No. 3 (March 1994), p. 269.
 Ibid., p. 293.
 Chinese foreign office spokesperson described it as “positively significant in increasing mutual understanding between the two armed forces.” See The Statesman (Delhi), 31 July, 1992.
 n. 6, p. 292.
 This is,
however, not to deny that some 01 the difference on the nuclear question
have also increased during the 1990s. For example, China is now a
signatory to the NPT (1992) and an adherent to the MTCR and during CTBT
negotiations it, in fact, sided with Washington in asking for India’s
signatures on the draft treaty. What is more worrying for Sino-India
ties is that China has used this newly gained club membership to obtain
credibility whereas its assistance to Pakistan’s nuclear and missile
programme has continued unabetted.
by the Minister of External Affairs on India’s policy towards China,
26 August, 1970” in A. Appadorai, Selected Documents on India’s
Foreign Policy and Relations 1947-1972, Vol. 1, (New Delhi: Oxford
University Press, 1962), pp. 743.44; also n. 7, p. 142.
 First during
Secretary (in Ministry of External Affairs) Eric Gonsalves’ visit to
Beijing, Deng mentioned this proposal during an interview to an Indian
journalist representing the not so well know journal Vikrant. Later Deng
revived this proposal again during his discussions with a visiting
Member of Indian Parliament, Dr. Subamanian Swamy, saying that
“conditions are not ripe now for
“Dealing with China”, Mainstream (New Delhi), 7 January 1969.
 Many scholars
have tried to explain this change of ready 1990s in terms of change in
global senario where collapse of Soviet Union and Tiananmen Square
crisis followed by western sanctions had compelled Beijing to search for
friends and allies. But it seems that Sino-Indian rapprochement was
still the most important factor and while India had described Tiananmen
incidents as China’s internal matter, China also made no comments on
demolition of Babri Masjid which sent correct signal of change. See
Allen S. Whiting, “China’s Foreign Rdations after 40 Years”, in
Anthony J. Kane (ed.), China Briefing, 1990, (Boulder: Westview Press,
1990), p. 67; and Hwei-ling Huo, “Patterns of Behaviour in China’s
Foreign Policy: The Gulf Crisis and Beyond”, Asian Survey, Volxxxii,
No. 3 (March 1992), p, 267.
 Sea John W.
Garver, “China-India Rivalry in Nepal: The Clash over Chinese Arms
Safes”, Asian Survey, Vol.xxxi No.10 (October 1991), p.968; and, Abu
Taher Salahuddin Ahmed, “Sine-Indian Relations: Problems, Progress and
Prospects”, BIISS Journal, Vol.15, No. 4 (October 1994), p, 384-65.
Siwei, “China and the Kashmir issue”, Strategic Analysis (New
Delhi), Vol. xvii, No. 12 (March 1995), pp. 1572-97. In fact, according
to some experts, it is China’s sensitivities about Xinjiang that
partly explains Beijing’s need to evolve “special relationship”
Hussain, “Relations with China”, World Focus (New Delhi), Nos.
167-166 (November-December 1993). p. 48.
K.K. Nanda (Retd), ‘Promising New Turn in Sino-Indian Relations”,
Defence Seminar (New Delhi), Vol. III No. 3 (March 1993). pp. 5.7. All
subsequent quotations from this treaty are from the text of my preceding
article in this volume.
of PLAAF have been visiting Indian Air Force bases”, The Times of
India (New Delhi), 22 December, 1995, reprinted in Strategic Digest,
Vol. xxvi, No. 3 (March 1996). pp. 444-45.
Joint Military Exercises plans denied”, Xinhua (in English) printed in
Foreign Broadcast Information Service . China (henceforth FBIS-CHI),
4-244, 20 December 1994, p. 12.
items are wool, goat skin, sheep skin, yak tail, yak hair, goat, sheep,
horses, salt, borax, China clay, butter, silk, and Szaibel yite.
stresses trade between India, China”, Xinhua (in English),
FBIS-CHC94-103, 27 May 1994, p, 15.
©1998 Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts, New Delhi
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