Relationship with few countries is perceived different but important which might affect Indian foreign policy, thus impacting our relationship with other countries.
Read: Importance of Aksai Chin
Aksai Chin is a region that lies in between China and India. Aksai Chin is governed by China, but claimed by India as its own. Aksai Chin is a high altitude land of Salt. It is also known as Soda plain. Aksai Chin is virtually uninhabited, inhospitable terrain with less or no rainfall.
From the time of independence, India has been using Johnson line (which puts Aksai Chin in India) as its official boundary line in the west. A government memo directing that maps of India should show the revised geography, showing definitive and defined boundaries be published henceforth. Until 1954, Aksai Chin was always listed as undemarcated but, with the issuance of Memo Aksai Chin was accepted as the definitive border.
During the 1950’s, China built road connecting Xinajiang and Tibet, the route took it inland into Aksai Chin, a land claimed to be its own by India. India was not aware of the road that went through its territory until later when China showed the road in its map. One reason for this ignorance was that Aksai Chin is easily accessible from China while the opposite holds true for India.
The Indo-China war was started over this unwarranted trespass of China into India According to Indian perspective, whereas the Chinese government maintains that it is in accordance with the accepted macMohanline.
Why China will not Cede Aksai Chin?
The highly volatile region of Aksai Chin leads to the short and bloody 1962 Indo-China war. The fallout of the war was an absolute freeze of relationships across all sectors.
Why was China so stubborn in not yielding an inhospitable, barren terrain? The answer would be, because of its strategic importance.
Aksai Chin is situated at high altitude and is closer to Delhi making china a immediate threat to India’s sovereignty. During any skirmishes between India and China, China can forthwith rush its army well into the heart of India in double quick time. Aksai Chin acts as an unmanned Chinese satellite keeping a watch over the Indian’s activities as well as all over Central Asia.
Aksai Chin acts as the beacon; a land mass needed to secure its western and south western frontiers. The territory also helps china to check any possible incursion from Central Asia.
The occupation of Aksai Chin by China has also forced India to up its ante in defense spending and strengthening its borders, reducing substantial funds from the treasury. The major cut in the funds for development leaves India tottering slowly in the development graph. China, which has no such worries has focused on development and research and is emerging as a strong global player.
Another factor that cannot be ruled out is China playing a willing host to Pakistan by providing a base in Aksai Chin, in case any wars were to break out between India and Pakistan. In a way Aksai Chin provides a lever for China to exert pressure on India when required.
In addition to its security and economic consideration, China is less likely to let go of Aksai Chin because Highway 219 is the all weather road that connects Tibet and Xianjiang. The road makes it easier to mobilize troops to quell any unrest.
Aksai Chin is a natural barrier between India and China, were it to fall into Indian hands, China would be exposed and become vulnerable to Indian hostile acts. Therefore, to protect its sovereignty, China will not yield Aksai chin
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