Tensions have risen between India and China in recent weeks over the Arunachal Pradesh. This culturally diverse Indian state is claimed by China as the province of “South Tibet” but is controlled and governed by India. This border region has been a source of Sino-Indian tension since before India became independent in 1947.
A Bridge to Somewhere
What sparked this most recent incident is the completion of a bridge. The Dhola-Sadiya Bridge connects the Arunachal Pradesh to the Indian state of Assam. The opening of the bridge was decried by Chinese media. The Chinese regime’s propaganda apparatus warned India to be “cautious” and use “restraint” when building future infrastructure projects in the region. Yeah India, you heard right. Only China gets to ignore international law and order.
A Little History
The biggest flare-up over the Arunachal Pradesh happened when China and India briefly went to war in 1962. The Pradesh had officially been part of India since before its independence from the UK in 1947. The confusion and tension over the region lies in a little-publicized territorial agreement signed by Tibet and Britain at the Simla Conference in 1914. The Chinese representative at the conference, I-Fan Chen, refused to sign the compact. However, China was only allowed to the table since a separate treaty between Russian and Great Britain stipulated that neither nation could negotiate with Tibet. China was designated as Tibet’s surrogate should either party wish to engage in diplomacy with the Himalayan nation.
Confusion and Oppression
Confusing, isn’t it? Well, let the Chinese Communist Party simplify it for you: Tibet has been part of China since ancient times, and South Tibet is part of Tibet. Therefore, South Tibet is part of China. Simple, right?
Well, not exactly. India refuses to accept China’s territorial claims. You know, since it has administered the region for more than 100 years.
But according to totally unbiased Chinese state-run media China Daily, the evil Indian government is repressing people in that region. “Under India’s illegal rule, the residents of Southern Tibet live difficult lives, face various kinds of discrimination, and look forward to returning to China.”
See, India? You need to return South Tibet to its rightful Chinese owners and stop oppressing those poor residents. Don’t worry, the CCP will gladly persecute them for you!