Given the above statement by the Chinese government, it was clear to India
that China wanted to claim areas that it believed to have belonged to it and
was willing to use force if necessary. The situation reached its peak in the
form of the 1962 Sino-India Border War that began with the Chinese
invasion of Indian territory.
     The 1962 Chinese invasion was termed by the Chinese as a “self-defense
counterattack” and justification for their behavior was provided on the basis
the disputed areas being their own territory. The territorial dispute concerns
the Aksai Chin area, which at that time was thought by India to be a part of
its territory due to the delineation by the McMahon line. China, however,
does not recognize Sino-Indian border as having been delineated by
McMahon line and thus believes that it has claim to territory that surpasses
the McMahon line, namely Aksai Chin area.
     The controversy over the issue of whether the McMahon line serves as
the Sino-Indian border lies the legal status of Tibet as a signatory to the
British-Tibetan agreement of July 3, 1914. This agreement between Britain
and Tibet established the McMahon line as the Sino-Indian border but China
denied the binding force of the agreement due to conviction that Britain had
no right to negotiate and sign a treaty with Tibet without China’s consent or
participation. According to the Anglo-Chinese convention of 1906 and the
Anglo-Russian treaty of 1907, Britain agreed that it would not enter into any
negotiations with Tibet except through the intermediary of the Chinese
government. The Chinese government was unwilling to sign the British-Tibet
agreement of 1914 and explicitly stated prior to the signing that it “would not
recognize any treaty or similar document now or hereafter signed between
Great Britain and Tibet.”
     The 1962 Border War was clearly won by the Chinese, but they gained
none of the territories they so strongly claimed. China currently occupies
western sector of the Aksai Chin area and India controls the eastern sector but
it is unlikely that either side will simply agree to give up the disputed areas
that it now holds. China claims that the war was fought only to
“demonstratively assert its territorial claims”. India, on the other hand,
accuses China of an “ungrateful betrayal”. The causes of the 1962 Sino-India
war differ depending upon which side one looks at. On the Indian side, the
belief is that India’s reaction to the Tibetan revolt, and more specifically