The border dispute between India and China is decades old. But after the 1959 Tibetan rebellion, when India gave refuge to the Dalai Lama, China opened a front against India. Due to this, a full-fledged war started between the two countries on 20 October 1962. The Chinese army launched simultaneous attacks in Ladakh and across the McMahon Line on 20 October 1962. Due to the terrain of inaccessible and snow-capped hills, India had deployed troops there, while China had landed in the battlefield with full Lashkar, so this war remained a tease for the Indian Army.

This war was forgotten in China but now it is being remembered anew. On the 60th anniversary of the India-China war, China’s military and media are paying renewed attention to a war that had previously been largely sidelined in official Chinese military history. The People’s Liberation Army (PLA) has displayed the war in an exhibition marking its 95th anniversary, as well as released a new military history of the war titled “A Hundred Questions on the Sino-India Border Self-Defense Counterback”. China officially describes that war as a “counter-attack” to justify its actions.

The PLA exhibition at the Military Museum in Beijing holds India responsible for the war. The Chinese exposition reads, “China and India have never formally demarcated their borders in their past. Only a single customary line is drawn according to the administrative jurisdiction of both sides. After August 1959, Indian forces invaded Chinese territory several times, leading to armed border conflicts.”

It further read, “In October 1962, the Indian Army launched a massive attack and the Chinese Border Defense Forces had to strike back in self-defense. This lasted for 33 days and the Army had retaliated from the Chinese territory occupied by the Indian Army after August 1959. retrieved it.” The exhibition also highlights the June 2020 Galwan Valley conflict. The Chinese military is refocusing on the 1962 war. This reflects a deterioration in relations and a growing border dispute. The war has sometimes been described by Chinese observers as a “forgotten” war. Chinese people believe that the 1962 war did not get as much attention as the Japanese occupation or the Korean War. These wars have been a major focus of Chinese television dramas and films.

The new war history is written by Zhang Xiaokang, daughter of former PLA general Zhang Guohua. Zhang Guohua had led the Tibet Military Region and planned a Chinese offensive in the eastern region. Excerpts from the book, first published in January, were once again published this week by the popular Chinese website Guancha. It said the war “has always been of interest to generations of soldiers and military admirers”. The main focus has been on the stories of veterans of the PLA war. General Zhang Xiaokang is the focus of the new book, but this week’s remarks also shed light on other 1962 generals. An October 16 article focused on Ding Sheng and the PLA’s early offensive strategies.


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By Dipak

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