News Excerpt
The Sikkim-Tibet Convention of 1890 assumes importance in the backdrop of recent skirmishes between Indian and Chinese troops at Naku La sector in Sikkim.

Pre-Connect
●    The Sikkim-Tibet border was defined in 1890 through the Anglo-Chinese Convention that was signed at Kolkata in March 1890.
●    Under Article 1, the boundary of Sikkim and Tibet was defined as the crest of the mountain range separating the waters flowing into the Teesta River in Sikkim and its tributaries from the waters flowing into the Tibetan Mochu River and northwards into other rivers of Tibet.
●    The line commenced at Mount Gipmochi on the Bhutan frontier, and followed the above watershed to the point where it met Nepali territory.
●    Of the entire 3,488kms Sino-Indian border, the only section on which both countries agree is that there is no dispute is the 220km Sikkim-Tibet section of the boundary.
●    Under the Anglo-Chinese Convention of 1890, the Sikkim-Tibet border was agreed upon and in 1895 it was jointly demarcated on the ground.
●    Also, the new government of People’s Republic of China, which took power in 1949, confirmed this position in a formal note to the government of India in 1959.

Highlights
    The Sikkim – Tibet boundary has long formally been delimited and there is neither any discrepancy between the maps nor any dispute in practice.
    Prior to Sikkim’s merger with India in 1975, the Chinese side accepted the Watershed based alignment of the International Border (IB).
    India’s stance is that the geographic alignment of the features was so prominent that it could easily be identified and recognized.
    There exists no ambiguity with respect to the location of the passsince geographic realities cannot be altered.
    The orchestrated actions on an otherwise dormant area masks a hidden agenda, which is far removed from Naku La.
    Diplomatic experts point out that China may also be opening a front in Sikkim due to the ambiguous official position of the boundary.

Conclusion
With a perceptible shift in their stand and incidents of more intrusive patrols by the PLA, experts surmise that not only will the two sides need to negotiate to resolve the stand-off at Naku La, but India should also have more diplomatic focus on laying down the line firmly to Beijing on the boundary in Sikkim.

PEPPER IT WITH
Doklam Standoff, Wuhan Spirit, McMahon Line, Aksai Chin, Gilgit-Baltistan, Shaksgam Valley, LAC