ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Himalayan Borderlands and India–China Relations

Shadow States: India, China and the Himalayas, 1910-62 by Bérénice Guyot-Réchard, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2017; pp 321; ₹ 550.


The contested Himalayan border between India and the People’s Republic of China (PRC) has acted as a catalyst for one military confrontation between Asia’s two largest states, in late 1962, and threatened many more. Over the years, commentators have repeatedly speculated that a settlement of the long and enervating border dispute is most likely to emerge from official recognition by both sides of the de facto territorial frontier.

Such a pragmatic accommodation has, however, proved elusive. Indeed, in many respects India and China have more reason than ever to maintain their respective, and conflicting, cartographic claims. The abundant natural resources in India’s north-eastern border state of Arunachal Pradesh, part of which China claims as “South Tibet,” represent a valuable commodity to the booming economies of both countries. Moreover, as Indian and Chinese consumption increases apace, growing water shortages have seen New Delhi and Beijing covet the considerable hydraulic resources in the Himalayas. All of which makes Bérénice Guyot–Réchard’s innovative and compelling examination of the history of Sino–Indian border friction both timely and important.

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Updated On : 5th Oct, 2018
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