The Western Sector of the Border in India-China Relation:


by Team FNVA

Watch it here:           

With Professor Srikanth Kondapalli                                             


The Fault Lines is a series by FNVA that discuss developments occurring on our Indian frontiers. Engaging extensively with the Universities on these regions and bringing them to the fore. This Episode of The Fault Lines sees Professor Srikanth Kondapalli, the Dean of the School of International Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi and FNVA Trustee addressing on the topic “Western Sector of the Border in India-China Relations’’. Professor Sonam Joldan from the University of Ladakh moderated the session and it was addressed to the University of Ladakh on 16th May, 2023. Professor Srikanth Kondapalli gives an overall take on the Western Sector in the Indian Border and gradually dwells into detail and complexity surrounding this. The lecture ends with an engaging Q and A session with the students and faculties of the University of Ladakh.

Professor Srikanth spoke on the Western Border and India’s China relations which include Ladakh, Aksai chin and Tibet with India and China heavily contesting over it. He mentioned “Tibet was Occupied by the Peoples Republic of China in 1951”. Prior to that Ladakh had several exchanges, sharing a unique relationship that also bordered rivalry with then independent Tibet. He then detailed the 1862 war between Ladakh and Tibet which extended up to north Eastern Aksai chin, further stressing upon the importance of the western sector.

Professor Srikanth mentioned two reasons why the western sector is important for India. Firstly, he highlighted the Geo-strategic location of Ladakh which has access to trade routes connecting to central Asia and China as well. Ladakh shares border with both China and Pakistan, making it a strategically important area for the two nations as well. However, due to Chinese aggression on the western sector, it let to the Siachen glacier conflicts between the two – this conflict took place at the highest battlefield in the known world. Secondly, after the 1962 Sino-Indian war Ladakh as a region was heavily devastated, crippling their former flourishing economy. Since then, with turn of century and with Ladakh becoming a union territory in 2019 it has grown back leads and bounds economically, reclaiming its former glory.

When it came to the Sino-Indian war of 1962. Professor stated that China under the leadership of Mao Zeadong had two main objectives; 

  1. New Delhi providing asylum to His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama India in 1959, which China saw as India intervening in their internal affairs. which resulted in the 1300 Indian soldiers being killed and another 4000 being captured. 
  2. Nehru’s administration practiced a forward policy of setting up 120 outposts and roughly 80 of these were in Ladakh sector (Eastern Ladakh). Here he mentioned that it was China themselves that carry a forward policy from 1954 to 1957 by building the Karakoram high way. India after the 1962 war frozen the bilateral relation between India and China.

Since then, the relationship between the two countries have been hot and cold with the western sector being a region of escalated conflicts. China rises a Kashmir issue in the UN, working towards dismantling India’s claim over Kashmir but four other nations didn’t support it. Recently China’s expansionist policies have led to illegal encroachment in the Indian region of Galwan and Pangong lake, leading incident Galwan Valley.


Professor Srikanth suggested that India should continue to develop infrastructures in this region, to counter China’s 70,000 active soldiers who are stationed there. Until this issue is resolved both nations will continue to militarised the region.

Copyright @2019 – 2023  All Right Reserved |  Foundation for Non-violent Alternatives