History of Aksai Chin

Aksai Chin was historically part of the Himalayan Kingdom of Ladakh[citation needed] until Ladakh was annexed from the rule of the local Namgyal dynasty by the Dogras and the princely state of Kashmir in the 19th century. However the Chinese never accepted the British-negotiated boundary in the north east area of the princely state of Kashmir.

One of the main causes of the Sino-Indian War of 1962 was India's discovery of a road that the Chinese had built through Aksai Chin, shown as Chinese on official Chinese maps. Beginning in 1954, India had shown on its official Survey of India maps a definite boundary line awarding Aksai Chin to itself, despite no military or other occupation of the area. Before 1954, Indian maps had shown undefined and indefinite boundary lines in this area. The China National Highway 219, connecting Tibet and Xinjiang, passes through no towns in Aksai Chin, only some military posts and truck stops, such as the very small Tianshuihai (el. 4,850 m (15,910 ft)) post. The road adds to the strategic importance of the area.

The 1963 Sino-Pakistani border agreement, which awarded to the People's Republic of China the Trans-Karakoram Tract, had no implications on the status of Aksai Chin, nor have any subsequent Sino-Pakistani agreements. The Trans-Karakoram Tract and Aksai Chin do not border each other. The fact that the 1963 China-Pakistan boundary line terminated at the Karakoram Pass, nine kilometers west of the westernmost tip of Aksai Chin, indicated only that the two states saw the futility in drawing the line any further east in area occupied since 1947 by India, and the impossibility of being able to physically demarcate the line on the ground as they did with the section west of the Karakoram Pass. The text of the 1963 accord makes no reference to Aksai Chin, despite internet speculation to the contrary.

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