The problem lay in the fact that, except for Sikkim, the border had not been demarcated — jointly with China — on the ground; the boundary in the western and middle sectors had not been defined in detail by treaty and only, as Nehru stated, by custom, usage and tradition. The McMahon Line was shown only on a map that the Chinese government had initialled in 1914 but not subsequently accepted. The Chinese would set their strategy in such a way subsequently, when the officials of the two sides met in 1960, to seek ‘fresh acceptance of every stretch’ of the boundary. K.M. Panikkar, without the benefit of hindsight, only had this advice to give Nehru: the issue would pose no difficulty. (Read More)
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