Between the establishment of the People's Republic of China (PRC) and the outbreak of the Sino-Indian Border War in 1962, there were three distinct stages in Beijing's approaches to border issues with India. A "temporary maintenance of the status quo" marks the first stage, from 1951 to 1954. In the second stage, from 1955 to April 1960, China prepared for a negotiated settlement and proposed an East-West swap solution, with China's recognition of the McMahon Line as a prerequisite. In the third stage, from May 1960 to October 1962, judging that India was unwilling to negotiate a solution, China made preparations for deployment of its military and adopted a policy of "never yield while striving to avoid bloodshed, create interlocking positions for long-term armed coexistence" on the border issue, ultimately proceeding to the border conflict. This research analyzes the roles that domestic politics, Chinese leaders' perspectives, and dynamics related to the Cold War have played in China's strategies toward its border tensions with India. More importantly, based upon research in declassified archives, this article identifies the major issues of the Sino-Indian border dispute and hence attempts to provide a framework for China and India to build a mutually acceptable approach to future discussions as well as for formulating a resolution to the boundary issue.


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pp. 435-457
Launched on MUSE
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