The India–China border dispute, going back a century and a half, predates Independence. As complex as the issue is, it pivots on two key questions: Who does Aksai Chin belong to? Will China accept the McMahon Line—which separates it from India's north-eastern front regions—as the international border between the two countries?
Despite several attempts, the two Asian neighbours have not managed to move beyond talks and towards a resolution. Why have bilateral talks not translated into concrete measures? Is there a lack of trust between India and China? How do the individual histories of these two nations contribute to their particular aggressive stances? Are there any other players pulling the strings of this strained equation?
In Contested Lands, Maroof Raza dives deep into the history of this long-standing territorial dispute, going right to the root of the problem. Clear-sighted, measured and rigorously researched, this is a necessary addition to the literature on India–China relations.