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India Recognizes Tibet as Chinese Territory for the First Time

India Recognizes Tibet as Chinese Territory for the First Time

Posted June. 24, 2003 21:50,   


China and India, the two giants of Asia, have finally agreed to end the long frosty bilateral ties.

India`s Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, minister, making the first visit to China by a leader of his nation in a decade, and his Chinese counterpart, Wen Jiabao, signed nine agreements Monday, at a meeting in Beijing`s Great Hall of the People on ‘principles of China-India ties, and declaration of full cooperation’ and economy, science, technology, culture, etc.

Vajpayee also met with President Hu Jintao and his predecessor, Jiang Zemin, who heads the Communist Party commission that runs China`s military and he discussed bilateral reconciliation, cooperation, and common interests.

The two countries, in particular, have made a significant breakthrough during the meeting on issues of Tibet located in between the boarder line of the two countries. “In the declaration that the two countries` prime ministers signed India for the first time recognizes Tibet as Chinese territory,” a Chinese foreign affairs official said.

The two countries fought a 1959 war and a 1962 war due to territory disputes and had 15 rounds of boarder demarcation talks. They, however, still could not find the solution to the dead-end. India, especially, criticized China’s military occupation of Tibet and allowed Dalai Lama to establish a government-in-exile in the northern part of Dharamsala.

The reason behind the two counties` declaration of cooperation ties is strategic need of each other. China has felt a threat in the national security as the U.S. questions China as a possible threat and tries to build an enormous encirclement across Middle East, Central Asia, India, South East Asia and Japan.

From India`s perspective, it needs to improve relationship with China to reduce defense expenses in order to expedite economic development.

However, some believe that the long cul-de-sac is unlikely to be resolved in a short term. Border demarcation is one hurdle and Pakistan, which is an allied nation to China but still having a border dispute with India, is another hurdle to clear.

Wen Jiabao said he wishes India and Pakistan to resolve the bilateral conflict but Vajpayee did not immediate respond to him.

Indian military forces` profound distrust on China is another hurdle. “China emphasizes amicable relationship with us, but it can be never trusted,” India`s senior military leaders said. “China, whose economy is rapidly developing, will be the biggest threat to India’s national security after a decade.”

India also has a plan of developing ‘Agni-3’ missiles that not only can carry nuclear weapons but hit China`s major strategic targets within 3,500 to 4,500km range.

Yoo-Sung Hwang yshwang@donga.com