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What is the McMahon Line, which America considered the international line between India and China?



India-China disputes: Two members of the US Senate, a Republican and a Democrat, introduced a bipartisan resolution in the Upper House of Congress, reiterating that the US recognizes the McMahan Line as the international boundary between India and China in Arunachal Pradesh. This proposal confirms India’s current position in Arunachal Pradesh. This proposal confirms this part as an integral part of India, which China calls South Tibet. Junior Republican Sen. Bill Haggerty of Tennessee, who introduced the resolution along with Junior Democratic Sen. Jeff Merkley of Oregon, said China poses a serious threat to the open Indo-Pacific region.

Haggerty said, “Amid the threats presented by China, it is necessary for America to stand shoulder to shoulder with its strategic partners in the region and particularly India. This bipartisan resolution expresses the support of the Senate for the unequivocal recognition of the State of Arunachal Pradesh as an integral part of India. Also condemns China’s military aggression to change the status quo along the Line of Effective Control. Apart from that, this proposal strongly strengthens the US-India strategic partnership and supports the free Indo-Pacific.

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What is the McMahon line?
The McMahon line serves as the de facto border between China and India in the eastern region. It specifically borders Arunachal Pradesh and Tibet, from Bhutan in the west to Myanmar in the east. China has always raised border disputes. Not only that, China has always claimed Arunachal Pradesh as part of the Tibetan Autonomous Region. The McMahon Line was drawn at the Simla Convention of 1914, officially recognized as a convention between Britain, China and Tibet. China was also involved in this conference. The McMahon Line demarcated the areas of influence of Tibet and British India in the eastern Himalayan region in present-day northeast India and northern Myanmar. Before the signing of the convention, the limits of this region were not defined.

Macmahon Line, India-China Border, Arunachal Pradesh, America, US Senate, India China Conflicts, India China Rift, Shimla Convention 1914

Prior to the signing of the Shimla Convention, the boundaries of this area were undefined.

After the First Anglo-Burmese War (1824-1826), the British took almost complete control of the Assam Valley. The British extended their influence mainly in the tribal lands of the northeast. For a long time, this tribal land served as a buffer between British India and Tibet. China’s influence over Tibet had diminished considerably by the beginning of the 20th century. At the same time, Britain worried about the fall of Tibet into Russian territory. In an attempt to stop Russian influence, the British launched a campaign in Tibet. After that, in 1904, the Lhasa Convention was signed. Worried about Britain’s growing influence, China also invaded the southeastern Kham region to gain control. China occupied the northern valley tribal areas of Assam. This prompted British officials to advocate the extension of British jurisdiction into the tribal area.

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What happened at the Shimla conference?
The Shimla conference attempted to settle the issue of Tibetan sovereignty and avoid future conflicts in the region. The Tibetan government was represented in Lhasa by Plenipotentiary Paljor Dorje Shatra and Britain was represented in Delhi by Sir Arthur Henry McMahon, Foreign Minister of British India. Plenipotentiary Ivan Chen was among the conference participants from the Chinese side. The treaty divided Buddhist territory into “Outer Tibet” and “Inner Tibet”. It was decided that “Outer Tibet” would remain in the hands of the Tibetan government under Chinese suzerainty. However, China will not be allowed to interfere in its affairs. At the same time, “Inner Tibet” will be under the direct jurisdiction of the new Republic of China.

Macmahon Line, India-China Border, Arunachal Pradesh, America, US Senate, India China Conflicts, India China Rift, Shimla Convention 1914

The Shimla Convention also determined the border between China and Tibet as well as between Tibet and British India.

The convention also determined the boundary between China and Tibet as well as between Tibet and British India. These new borders were called the McMahon Line after chief British negotiator McMahon. A project was agreed by the three countries on April 27, 1914, which was rejected by China. The final agreement was signed by McMahon and Shatra. Ivan Chen, who attended the conference on behalf of China, did not accept the project. He argued that Tibet had no independent right to enter into international agreements.

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How was the Indo-Chinese border decided?
The 890 kilometer boundary between one corner of Bhutan and the Isu Razi pass on the Burmese border was largely along the Himalayan ridge under the “highest catchment principle”. The British, based on this principle, considered the most logical way to demarcate borders in mountainous regions, drew the boundary line between two river plains with the highest peak. However, some exceptions have also been retained. Had this principle been fully implemented, Tawang would have been part of Tibet, which was incorporated into British India due to its proximity to the Assam Valley. It was clear from the 1962 war that if Tawang were occupied by China, its army would have easy access to the valley to the south.

What was the status of the McMahon line?
Controversies had arisen early on regarding the McMahon line. After the Communists came to power in 1949, China was excluded from all international agreements and so-called unequal treaties. The communist regime believed that these agreements were imposed on China during the “century of humiliation”. After exiting international agreements and treaties, China demanded to renegotiate all of its borders. China was able to quickly dominate India during the 1962 war with India and make deep inroads into Indian territory beyond the McMahon Line. However, after declaring a unilateral ceasefire on November 21, his forces returned to their pre-war positions. Overall, there is ongoing controversy regarding the McMahon line.

Keywords: America, Arunachal Pradesh, UNITED KINGDOM, border dispute between india and china, Tension on the border between India and China, india china conflict, Tibet