November 8, 2009 / 6:35 AM / 11 years ago

FACTBOX - India, China's old border dispute

REUTERS - The Dalai Lama, branded by China as a separatist began a week-long visit to Arunachal Pradesh, also claimed by Beijing as the two countries struggle to settle a border dispute.

Here are key details about their border dispute:

* The Asian giants still claim vast swathes of each other’s territory along their 3,500 km (2,173 mile) Himalayan border, which has remained largely peaceful since a border war in 1962.

* The border was never demarcated. In the years before Indian independence in 1947, the former British colonial rulers saw little need to demarcate such a remote area and later the two sides were unable to agree on a common border.

* In 1958, China published a map showing the Aksai Chin plateau on the western stretch of the border as part of its territory; India protested.

* Border skirmishes escalated into a full-scale war in 1962 after India said China occupied 38,000 square km (15,000 square miles) of territory in Aksai Chin.

* Chinese troops overran Indian military positions in Aksai Chin and Arunachal Pradesh before a ceasefire. China withdrew to pre-war positions behind the McMahon line dividing the two countries along Arunachal Pradesh.

The ceasefire line became known as the Line of Actual Control (LAC).

* India says Beijing is illegally holding 5,180 sq km of northern Kashmir ceded to it by Pakistan in 1963.

* China lays claim to 90,000 sq km of land on the eastern sector of the border in the Indian state of Arunachal Pradesh.

* After two decades of talks, India and China exchanged maps on the least controversial middle segment of their frontier in 2000 and three years later special envoys were appointed to map out a resolution of the dispute.

* Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao and Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh signed an agreement on the “guiding principles” to resolve the dispute in 2005; China formally abandoned its claim to the Himalayan state of Sikkim. But there has been no concrete progress on demarcating the border.

Reporting by Krittivas Mukherjee; Editing by Sanjeev Miglani

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