India-China Border War

October 24, 1962

Report Outline
Armed Clash on Himalayan Frontier
Background of the Border Struggle
Impact of Dispute on Asian Politics

Armed Clash on Himalayan Frontier

The himalayan frontier dispute between India and Red China, simmering for eight years, has erupted suddenly into full-scale warfare. Indian Army detachments, stationed at remote mountain outposts on the far northeastern and northwestern borders of the country, had been engaged by intruding Chinese troops in periodic but sharp skirmishing toward the end of September and early in October, Finally, on Oct. 12, Prime Minister Nehru gave the order to drive the Chinese from Indian territory —back across the Tibetan border. Eight days later, the Chinese opened the present strong offensive at widely separated points. They immediately overran numerous Indian outposts and seemed prepared to push southward on three fronts.

On the radio, Oct. 22, Nehru told the people of India that “The time has come for us to realize fully this menace that threatens the freedom of our people and the independence of our country.” Warning that the nation had “to meet a powerful and unscrupulous opponent,” he declared that “We must build up our military strength by all means at our disposal.”

Pleas for military aid, particularly in the form of aircraft badly needed to support troops in an extremely difficult and virtually roadless terrain, were expected to receive a sympathetic response in the West. Meanwhile, Peking has offered to enter into negotiations for a peaceful settlement of the dispute. Nehru, however, has rejected negotiation or mediation unless China first withdraws its forces from territory long and widely recognized as belonging to India. Hard fighting continues, but the swiftly approaching Himalayan winter may soon force an uneasy stalemate in a contest that is of grave import to all of South and Southeast Asia.

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