New Delhi: Do you know that it was not only the British and Mughals who invaded India? China, who India never thought will launch an attack ever, attacked India on October 20, 1962. This belief did not let the Indian army prepare and the result was 10,000-20,000 Indian troops against 80,000 Chinese troops. The war continued for about a month and ended on November 21 after China declared a ceasefire.
On the 53rd anniversary of the end of the Sino-Indian war, let us take you through the timeline of the starting of the war and all that happened during it.
How did it start?
With the independence of the Republic of India and the formation of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) in the year 1949, one of the policies for the Indian government was that of maintaining cordial relations with China
When China announced that it would be occupying Tibet, India sent a letter of protest proposing negotiations on the Tibet issue. China was even more active in deploying troops on the Aksai Chin border than any other Indian republic was
India was so concerned about its relations with China that it did not even attend a conference for the conclusion of a peace treaty with Japan because China was not invited. India even strove to become China’s representative in matters related to world since China had been isolated from many issues
In 1954, China and India concluded the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence under which India acknowledged Chinese rule in Tibet. It was at this time when former Prime Minister of India, Jawaharlal Nehru promoted the slogan ‘Hindi-Chini bhai-bhai’
In July 1954, Nehru wrote a memo directing a revision in the maps of India to show definite boundaries on all frontiers, however, Chinese maps showed some 120,000 square kilometres of Indian territory as Chinese. On being questioned, Zhou Enlai, the first Premier of People’s Republic of China, responded that there were errors in the maps
Top People’s Republic of China leader, Mao Zedong felt humiliated by the reception Dalai Lama obtained in India when he fled there in March 1959. Tensions increased between the two nations when Mao stated that the Lhasa rebellion in Tibet was caused by Indians
China’s perception of India as a threat to its rule of Tibet became one of the most prominent reasons for the Sino-Indian War
Various conflicts and military incidents between India and China flared up throughout the summer of 1962
On July 10, 1962, around 350 Chinese troops surrounded an Indian post at Chushul and used loudspeakers to convince the Gurkhas that they should not be fighting for India
In October 1959, India realised that it was not ready for war after a clash between the two armies at Kongka Pass in which 9 Indian policemen were killed; the country assumed responsibility for the border and pulled back patrols from disputed areas
Facts on the war ::
On October 20, 1962, China’s People’s Liberation Army invaded India in Ladakh, and in the east across the McMahon Line in the then North-East Frontier Agency
Till the start of the war, the Indian side was confident that war would not be started and made little preparations. Thinking this, India had deployed only two divisions of troops in the region of the conflict while the Chinese troops had three regiments positioned
The Chinese also cut Indian telephone lines, preventing the defenders from making contact with their headquarters
On the first day, the Chinese infantry also launched an attack from the rear. The continued losses forced the Indian troops to escape to Bhutan
On October 22, the Chinese lighted a bush which caused a lot of confusion amongst the Indians. Some 400 Chinese troops attacked the Indian position. The initial Chinese assault was stopped by accurate Indian mortar fire
When the Indian army discovered that a Chinese force gathered in a pass, it opened fire with mortars and machine guns and killed about 200 Chinese soldiers
On October 26, a patrol from the 4th Sikhs was encircled, and after they were unable to break the encirclement, an Indian unit sneaked in and attacked the Chinese army and freed the Sikhs
According to the China’s official military history, the war achieved China’s policy objectives of securing borders in its western sector.
Source: Defence News