Tibet: The need to rectify the ‘Himalayan Blunder’

WION NEW DELHI Jun 30, 2020, 12.52 AM(IST) Edited By: Palki Sharma

Tibet protest Photograph:( AFP )

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The point was hammered in —- in the year 2003. India's former Prime Minister — late Atal Bihari Vajpayee was visiting China. He signed a joint declaration along with Chinese premier Wen Jiabao.

China claims ownership of Tibet due to historical mistakes that India was very much a part of. After the independence of Tibet, Dalai Lama's government was facing two big problems lack of stability and recognition. So Tibet reached out to Britain. The Shimla agreement established the Mc-Mahon line. It also divided Tibet into inner and outer regions.

During 1913-14, an understanding known as the Shimla Accord was marked between the delegates of British India, Tibet and China. The Accord separated Tibet into Inner and Outer Tibet. The terms gave China sway over Inner Tibet yet suzerainty over Outer Tibet which would keep on being administered by the Tibetan government at Lhasa.

According to the Anglo-Tibetan Declaration "The governments of Great Britain and China recognizing that Tibet is under the suzerainty of China, and recognizing also the autonomy of outer Tibet, engage to respect the territorial integrity of the country, and to abstain from interference in the administration of outer Tibet (including the selection and installation of the Dalai Lama), which shall remain in the hands of the Tibetan government at Lhasa. The Government of China engages not to convert Tibet into a Chinese province. The Government of Great Britain engages not to annex Tibet or any portion of it,".

China did not sign this accord, in 1949, Beijing invaded Tibet and India called the move 'deplorable' and
'not in the interest of China or peace’.

New Delhi followed it up with a big blunder, in 1954, the govt of Jawaharlal Nehru signed the Panchsheel treaty in Beijing.

‘Agreement between the Republic of India and the people’s republic of china on trade and intercourse between India and the Tibet region of China’. India recognized china's claim over Tibet.

The point was hammered in —- in the year 2003. India's former Prime Minister — late Atal Bihari Vajpayee was visiting China. He signed a joint declaration along with Chinese premier Wen Jiabao.

''The Indian side recognizes that the Tibet autonomous region is part of the territory of the people's republic of china and reiterates that it does not allow Tibetans to engage in anti-china political activities in India. The Chinese side expresses its appreciation for the Indian position and reiterates that it is firmly opposed to any attempt and action aimed at splitting China and bringing about "Independence of Tibet”.

While the two leaders agreed on the fate of a third nation. They could not reach common ground on the issue of the common border.

The two sides exchanged views on the India-China boundary question and expounded their respective positions. They reiterated their readiness to seek a fair, reasonable and mutually acceptable solution through consultations on an equal footing. 17 years on, there is no equal footing. Tibet, meanwhile, is facing the blows of historical wrongdoings.

China violated the Mc-Mahon line and India-China border region has become a hotbed of conflict.

The LAC is still neither defined, nor demarcated. Beijing continues to make use of every opportunity to grab land.

The Galwan skirmish is one such example. In Tibet, 1.2 million people have died since the Chinese occupation. If there is one lesson we can draw from the situation. When it comes to conflicts — the past is never dead.