LAHORE - The half-a-century old border dispute between China and India came to limelight yet again when the fifth round of talks between the two countries last month remained inconclusive with India sticking to its rigid stance on the issue. 

Although Chinese media has attached importance to the recent parleys held between the two countries in India, but reported that they were still ‘far away’ from reaching some amicable settlement over the dispute which has its origin in India’s decision of supporting a separatist a movement in Tibet to create a buffer State between India and China. 

It is a general feeling in China that the main hurdle comes from the Indian insistence that ‘McMahon Line’ as left by British colonists should form the basis of negotiations on the border line between China and India.

The mistrust existing between the two countries, which also fought a war in 1962 over the dispute, is also stated to be one of the reasons behind slow progress on talks over the issue.

Highlighting some other aspects of the Sino-India border conflict and the factors disturbing the normal development of bilateral relations, an article published in People’s Daily Online said India wanted that the talks should also cover the western region of 30,000 square kilometers besides the dispute over eastern region of 90,000 square kilometers.

The public opinion in China, however, considers it a wrong argument when judged in the historical perspective.

The multi-party political system in India and its extremely complicated society has also been blamed for delay in reaching some agreement on the issue. It seems a difficult task to evolve consensus on the China-India border issue given the divergent opinion of different political parties in India. Besides, India wants China to compromise its position and make a concession in solving border dispute with it like it did in case of other countries on similar issues.

The mistrust in India that China had enhanced its military deployment in the border area and could attack it any time is also hampering the promotion of friendly relations between the two neighbours.

Although the trade volume between India and China has increased manifolds in the recent years, India blames China of resorting to anti-dumping practices which, according to it, leads to unfavourable balance in the Sino-India trade. But while accusing China of indulging in anti-dumping, India forgets the barriers it has imposed in the name of ‘safety’.

The opening of trade through Nathula Port, once considered a ‘golden channel for the Sino-India trade’ came to an abrupt end soon because the Indians thought that it will threaten their security.

Nathula is mountainous pass connecting the Indian state of Sikkim with China’s Tibet region and which is one of the three open trading borders posts between the two countries.

The other two are Shipkila and Himachal Pradesh. Nathu La was re-opened in 2006, but was closed soon after security factors. India also thinks that cheap goods coming from China will damage its domestic production.

The dual standard of India on Dalai Lama and Tibet is also an important factor hampering its relations with China. Despite its assertion about Tibet being an integral part of China, India not only provided protection to Lama, it has also failed to check his anti-China activities there.

The misunderstandings which the India has about the China-Pakistan relations, is also hampering improvement of relations with China. It is widely feared in India that after Pakistan’s Gwadar Port is completed, ‘Chinese navy may appear in India’s doorstep’, or ‘inflow of nuclear technology from China to Pakistan will also enable the modernisation of Pakistan’s nuclear weapons’.

According to the said article, a section of opinion in India also thinks that the personnel sent by China to assist Pakistan in the earthquake relief work are actually ‘China’s 7,000 troops inside Azad Kashmir.’

India has adopted more or less a similar approach towards Pakistan in resolving its disputes, especially that of Held Kashmir. It has always sought concessions from Pakistan without showing a little flexibility in its own stance.