Sino Indian Legal Services

In the Western sector too, China`s position remained full of legal contradictions and confusion after the founding of the People`s Republic in 1949. Take the Chang Chenmo Valley Falls between Lanak La Pass and Kongka Pass. In 1950, a map published in People`s China showed the entire Chang Chenmo Valley as part of Indian territory. In 1951, the “New Map of China” showed an orientation that crossed the Shyok Valley. The position was similar in maps published in 1953 and 1956 showing part of the Chang Chenmo Valley in India. Adding to the confusion, Premier Zhou wrote to Nehru that the alignment shown on Chinese maps in 1956 was the correct alignment of the Sino-Indian border; while the Chinese authorities produced another version in 1960! The Chinese have tried to conceal this apparent discrepancy by accusing India of “exaggerating differences in the demarcation of Chinese maps.” If there were no differences, as the Chinese authorities claim, why did Chinese officials not say during the official border talks of 1960 that the position indicated by Zhou in his letter of December 17, 1959 to Nehru is the line of 1956? So why did they have to produce another one, a 1960 version? The fact is that the Chinese did not meet until the 6th meeting of officials on the 27th. In June 1960, the first authorized map showing their version of the complete alignment of the Sino-Indian border [emphasis added]. Didn`t the People`s Republic of China, founded in 1949, know until then where its borders were? What would the ICJ have done with it? There is currently one Chinese judge and one Indian judge sitting on the ICJ. Even though, for obvious reasons, both countries would avoid an official reference; Should they not consider an informal reprimand to verify the effectiveness of their respective cases? The informal international legal opinions thus obtained are not published; But this could only help to create momentum towards a final solution. The current dispute between India and the People`s Republic of China over the border between the two countries was largely triggered by the development of relations between Tibet and China, although there were some recriminations over alleged border crossings as early as 1954. Moreover, much of the dispute concerns the boundary as established in accordance with the so-called McMahon Line, which stems from the so-called Simla “Treaty” of 1904 between the United Kingdom and Tibet. It is therefore advisable to check the legal status of Tibet itself. First, China is not convinced that its claims on the border dispute with India can withstand international judicial scrutiny.

Its legal record is much weaker than India`s. China knows that at the ICJ, the parties` treaty-based claims are particularly persuasive and that this rule applies even when agreements are unclear or incomplete. The ICJ decision in the border dispute in the Thailand-Cambodia case [Preah Vihear case] is very relevant. In it, the ICJ stated that, in the interest of “the security, stability and finality of borders, a card, even if it is an unsigned card, constitutes valid evidence [emphasis added]. But the most important point accepted by the ICJ was that, since Thailand had not expressed an objection for a long time, this constituted tacit acceptance, acquiescence to the card [emphasis added]. The ICJ ruled that, although the map was not “binding”, since there was nevertheless “no reaction from the [Thai] Siamese authorities, it must be assumed that they agreed” [emphasis added].

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