Territorial claims – border disputes / conflicts and incursions – and pragmatic ways to resolve all such issues
Quotations for consideration:
“We dare not tempt them with weakness. For only when our Arms are sufficient beyond doubt can we be certain beyond doubt that they will never be employed….. So let us begin anew – remembering on both sides, that civility is not a sign of weakness, and sincerity is always subject to proof. Let us never negotiate out of fear, but let us never fear to negotiate”.
“We have no eternal allies and we have no perpetual enemies. (Only) our interests are eternal and perpetual, and those interests it is our duty to follow” – Henry John Temple
Every Indian considers China as an aggressor, a Country that has never accepted the validity of the boundary as designated by India either in the North West (Aksai Chin area) or in the North East (Arunachal Pradesh area).
As Neville Maxwell writes in his book ‘India’s China War’ – a boundary comes into existence through natural human interaction, a process of historic consolidation and it needs for its validation, recognition by both the States concerned.
Pre-modern States could exist within frontiers; modern States must have boundaries. Frontiers were zonal rather than lineal and were thus indeterminate.
A boundary is a line agreed in diplomatic negotiation (de-limitation), then marked out on the ground (demarcation) thereafter actually represented cartographically and described verbally in a treaty between the two States which thus recognize the precise limits of their own and their neighbour’s territory. Demarcation can only follow delimitation and this is invariably a joint process to be conducted by both the Governments concerned.
Any change in the alignment of such a boundary at any later date would thus require the mutual acceptance by both the affected States. Unilateral declarations by any one Country can only lead to confusion and conflict.
As the old saying goes – “Good fences (or boundaries) make for good Neighbours”.