Aksai Chin | 19 May 2020

Why in News

Recently, Chinese media has accused India of building defence facilities in the Galwan Valley region of the contested Aksai Chin area.

Key Points

  • China controls Aksai Chin area, while India claims that it is part of Indian territory (Union territory of Ladakh).
  • Chinese media claims that the actions by the Indian side have seriously violated China and India’s agreements on border issues.
    • It also claims that India has violated China’s territorial sovereignty and harmed military relations between the two countries.
  • India has not responded to the accusation yet.
  • The latest round of conflict comes days after Indian and Chinese troops clashed in the NakuLa area in north Sikkim and Pangong Tso in eastern Ladakh.
  • India and China have an unresolved 3488 km long border dispute that has cast a shadow on ties for decades.
  • Prolonged rounds of negotiations have failed to resolve the dispute between the two neighbours.
  • However, in the Wuhan and Mahabalipuram summits, both China and India had reaffirmed that they will make efforts to “ensure peace and tranquility in the border areas”.
  • Also, on 1st April, 2020 India and China completed their 70 years of diplomatic relations.

Dispute over Aksai Chin

  • During the time of British rule in India, two borders between India and China were proposed- Johnson’s Line and McDonald Line.
    • The Johnson’s line (proposed in 1865) shows Aksai Chin in erstwhile Jammu and Kashmir (now Ladakh) i.e. under India’s control whereas McDonald Line (proposed in 1893) places it under China’s control.
    • India considers Johnson Line as a correct, rightful national border with China, while on the other hand, China considers the McDonald Line as the correct border with India.
  • At present, Line of Actual Control (LAC) is the line separating Indian areas of Ladakh from Aksai Chin. It is concurrent with the Chinese Aksai Chin claim line.

Source: IE