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Home » Cultural Geography, Economic Geography, Geopolitics, Southeast Asia

Narendra Modi and the Rise of India

Submitted by on May 27, 2015 – 9:13 am 16 Comments |  
China's Map of India

Yet again, teaching duties are preventing me from making regular GeoCurrents posts. All that I can do this week is post my slides from last evening’s lecture on Narendra Modi and the Rise of India.

Part of this lecture focused on the relationship between India and China. I find it quite significant that some Chinese media sources are using a map of India that excludes all of Jammu and Kashmir as well as Arunachal Pradesh, as can be seen in the image posted here.




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  • James Mayfield

    Why do you think they would exclude aruchal pradesh? I didnt know china has any interest in that. Obviously parts or kashmir…what about sikkim? I believe bhutan and china have an unresolved border and i think with india until bhutan signed an accord in the 70s

    • China claims the entire state of Arunachal Pradesh in NE India — interestingly, the call it “South Tibet.” I don’t know of any recent Chinese claims to Sikkim, but the Times of India has reported on Chinese incursions in the area. China does claim some Bhutanese territory, and the two countries have been in period talks. From the Times of India, Oct. 2, 2014:

      “NEW DELHI: While Indian border troops challenged the PLA at Chumar in Ladakh over a road China was building, India’s northern neighbour persisted in building two more roads into Indian territory: one in Sikkim and another in Ladakh several kilometres away from Chumar.
      Both these roads were destroyed by Indian forces upon discovery and a confrontation arose. However they were resolved without another standoff.”

    • gh79

      The line separating Arunachal from Tibet was negotiated between the British and Tibet. The Chinese who had a sphere of influence (not sovereignty) over Tibet did not agree to the line hence they dispute it.
      Same for Sikkim and Bhutan which were independent kingdoms under British and Chinese influence. Interstingly when India agreed to let China have Tibet (which was under joint suzerainty of British India and China and has significant Hindu religious spots akin to Jerusalem for Christians) there was an understanding India could have Nepal, Bhutan, Sikkim (protectorates if not merger) but the Chinese backtracked

      • Many thanks for the information. Very interesting — I would certainly like to learn more.

  • James Mayfield

    Its so interesting to see how chinese foreign policy shaped the evolution of the indian national congress. Nehru was communist all but in name until china invaded india. Then he and most socialists went their own third way, leaving the maoists as a national threat. It is also surprising to see that communist parties (non maoist marxist leninist) are popular in bengal and kerala.

    • Yes, all of that is quite interesting. Kerala and West Bengal have been under Communist rule more often than not, but the Communist Part of India (M) has recently suffered major losses in both states. In preparing for this lecture, I was quite surprised to learn that the so-called Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) sill exists. Interesting as well that in includes North Korea, Cuba, and Belarus.

      • James Mayfield

        Thanks for the clarification doctor. I see you are right about arunachal and the seven sisters, though i don’t know why china would want to deal with the instability of the bodos, assamese, nagas, and other rebels in the region. And my first masters dissertation was on the third way and NAM. It is functionally useless and includes most of the world (including dictatorships and i believe iran of all is the chair and mubarak before him), but the anti imperial, post colonial mentality of the NAM is very potent and pervasive in the third world.

    • gh79

      Nehru was never Communist. He was British educated and a Fabian Socialist. The Communists staged the Naval mutiny which scared the British that India was about to go communist so they handed power over to Nehru to keep the Communist Party of India from gaining power. If Nehru had been Communist British ould not have handed him the reins of power

  • Surabhi Mishra

    Main interest of china is not arunachal, it is j&k. As china always wanted to have access to central asia through pakistan and aksai chin which china claims to have will provide it the entrance to persian gulf. also development of gwadhar port in pakistan by china should also be seen in this light.

    • Good points, but China does care enough about Arunachal Pradesh to have protested Modi’s recent visit to the state. You are certainly right that China’s connection to the port of Gwadar in Pakistan, through the Karakoram Highway, is a crucial issue.

      • Surabhi Mishra

        China cares about Arunachal because the outstead tibetan buddhist monks are hiding in arunachal “tawang monastery in arunachal always being considered important for buddhist” , as per china theory same as why china wants nepal. from the beginning china wanted all neighboring regions to accept tibet as part of china not an autonomous region. till china subjugate all the rebels hiding anywhere in the world, tibet will not be unified with china

        • Thanks for the comments. This Quara page has some interesting and informed comments on the issue:

          • Surabhi Mishra

            thanks but this page is complicated to join.

          • Try doing a simple web search for “China, Nepal, Arunachal Pradesh, Quara” and you will probably get to the page without joining (it worked for me). The comments by Ritwik Banerjee are especially worth reading.

          • Surabhi Mishra

            thanks … i read it. really good.

  • gh79

    India could show maps of China without Tibet. Would not change anything on the ground