Territorial Dispute

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  • Japan-Russia Territorial Disputes: Finding a Solution

    Japan and Russia have enlarged their political and economic cooperation during the recently held talks. This gives hope of a resolution to their lingering territorial disputes which have overshadowed their overall bilateral relations.

    May 27, 2013

    Chinese lessons in diplomacy

    The External Affairs Minister has returned back from his visit to China. Despite this seemingly happy ending to the sordid border incident, inconvenient questions about China’s intentions and assertiveness persist.

    May 12, 2013

    Lessons from Somdurong Chu Incident

    Incursions and incidents of escalation are not new to India-China relations. Importantly they have been successfully diffused by a combination of adroit diplomacy, ‘show of force’ and political statesmanship.

    April 26, 2013

    Archit Gupta asked: Keeping in mind India's interest in the South China sea, what should be India's policy with respect to the dispute?

    Reply: Please refer to an earlier response by Sarabjeet Singh Parmar to a similar query, at http://idsa.in/askanexpert/stakeforIndiaintheSouthChinaSea

    Also, refer to the following IDSA publications:

    Saloni Salil, “India, to the South China Sea and Beyond”, Journal of Defence Studies, 7 (1), January 2013, at http://idsa.in/jds/7_1_2013_IndiatotheSouthChinaSeaandBeyond_SaloniSalil

    R. S. Kalha, “China’s Forward Policy in the South China Sea”, July 30, 2012, at http://idsa.in/idsacomments/ChinasForwardPolicyintheSouthChinaSea_RSKalh...

    James R. Holmes, “Inside, Outside: India's ‘Exterior Lines’ in the South China Sea”, Strategic Analysis, 36 (1), May 2012, at http://idsa.in/strategicanalysis/36_3/TheSouthChinaSea_JamesRHolmes

    Sarabjeet Singh Parmar, “The South China Sea Imbroglio”, October 14, 2011, at http://idsa.in/idsacomments/TheSouthChinaSeaImbroglio_ssparmar_141011

    Shankar Narayanan P asked: Has China's emergence as one of the largest trading partners of India adversely affected the settlement of outstanding border problems between the two countries?

    Rukmani Gupta: There is no evidence to suggest that the development of bilateral trade between India and China has adversely affected the settlement of the boundary question between the two countries. India and China have committed to a negotiated settlement of the boundary question, and 15 rounds of talks on the boundary issue attest to this. While working towards a negotiated settlement, the two countries have emerged as leading global economies and it is thus unsurprising that their economic ties have also grown. Even though China is an important trading partner, it cannot be suggested that the economic ties impinge on India's position on the boundary question. Mutual economic interests may be seen as creating stakes for the maintenance of peace between countries, but these cannot be the rationale for decisions affecting national sovereignty and territorial integrity.

    China’s Territorial Claim on Arunachal Pradesh: Alternative Scenarios 2032

    China’s Territorial Claim on Arunachal Pradesh: Alternative Scenarios 2032

    This Occasional Paper analyzes the Chinese territorial claim from futuristic perspective by identifying three drivers of uncertainty that has bearing on future Chinese behaviour, namely, Chinese regime stability and nationalism; the Tibet factor and internal developments in Arunachal Pradesh. Based on the interactive interplay between the three drivers, the author offers four alternative scenarios with regard to China's territorial claim in 2032.

    Subham asked: What is difference between geo-politics and geo-strategy?

    Reply: Please refer to the earlier reply by Krishnendra Meena to a similar query, at http://www.idsa.in/askanexpert/geopoliticsandgeostrategy

    What the Chinese White Paper Says on Diao Yu Dao? An Opportunity to Revisit the Issue

    This Issue Brief presents the historical and legal debate surrounding the dispute and in the process underscores the inconsistencies and weaknesses in the Chinese claims.

    October 10, 2012

    Minh Tran asked: What is the U.S. position on Japan-China territorial dispute over Senkaku Islands?

    Shamshad Ahmad Khan replies: The US position on Senkaku Islands, a contested territory in the East China Sea between Japan and China and Japan and Taiwan, is ambiguous. The US State Department maintains that “the US does not take a position on the question of the ultimate sovereignty of the Senkaku Islands.” However, when the US Defense Secretary Leon Panetta visited Japan and China amidst rising tension between the two neighbours following nationalisation of the Senkakus by Japan on September 11, 2012, although he stated that the 1960 US-Japan Security Treaty applies to the Senkakus, but at the same time added that the US will not take sides in the territorial dispute between Japan and China. Therefore, it is not clear what practical steps the US will take in case tension between China and Japan escalates to a higher level.

    The question whether the US will come to Japan’s help in case of a military stand-off with China over Senkakus came to the fore for the first time in September 2010 when a Chinese fishing trawler collided with a Japanese Coast Guard vessel off the Senkakus. The arrest of the captain of the Chinese fishing boat had led to a diplomatic spat and suspension of high-level political meetings between Chinese and Japanese political leaders. At that time, the Obama administration decided not to state explicitly that the Senkakus are subject to the US-Japan Security Treaty, causing anxiety among the strategic circles in Japan.

    In January 2011, Benjamin Rhodes, the Deputy National Security Advisor for Strategic Communications in the White House, had said that “the US does not have position on the question of sovereignty regarding the issue of the Diaoyu Islands.” For the first time, a senior American official had used the Chinese name Diaoyu to refer to the disputed territory. This was seen as a departure from the official position maintained by the previous Bush administration. In 2004, the US State Department had stated that the Senkaku Islands have been under the administrative control of the government of Japan since they were returned as part of the reversion of Okinawa in 1972.