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Digital Archive International History Declassified

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Sino-Indian Border War, 1962

China and India fought a brief war in late 1962 over disputed territories in the Himalayas, but the conflict's consequences for China's relations with South Asia and the Soviet Union far exceeded its short duration.

  • January 23, 1959

    Letter from Prime Minister of China to the Prime Minister of India, 23 January 1959

  • May 16, 1959

    Statement made by the Chinese Ambassador to the Foreign Secretary, 16 May 1959

  • September 08, 1959

    Premier Chou En-lai's [Zhou Enlai's] Letter to Prime Minister Nehru

  • September 10, 1959

    Memorandum of Conversation Between Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Zeng Yongquan and Charge d’Affaires of the Embassy of the Soviet Union in China S. Antonov

    Zeng and Antonov talked about the outbreak of conflict along the Sino-Indian border, a TASS statement regarding the issue made without incorporating Chinese opinion and the role of publicity.

  • October 29, 1959

    Report from the PLA General Staff Department, 'Behind India’s Second Anti-China Wave'

    The Chinese military report listed Nehru's six goals in the border conflict with China: Force China to accept the McMahon line, alleviate the internal contradictions within Indian moderates, reverse the detriment on his reputation incurred by the interference in the Tibet dispute, strike the Indian Communist Party, flatter the US for aid, and create a Himalayan Union. None of those goals were achieved.

  • October 02, 1959

    Discussion between N.S. Khrushchev and Mao Zedong

    Khrushchev and Mao discuss current political situations in Tibet, India, Indochina and Taiwan.

  • November 07, 1959

    Premier Chou En-lai's [Zhou Enlai's] Letter to Prime Minister Nehru

  • November 28, 1959

    Cable from the Chinese Embassy in the Soviet Union, 'The Soviet Union’s Attitude towards the Sino-Indian Border Dispute'

    The Chinese Embassy in the Soviet Union commented that Moscow was trying to maintain a neutral stance in the conflict because it still had important stakes in India. The report predicted that this attitude would have negative consequences and encourage the Indian rightists.

  • December 18, 1959

    Draft Report, 'On the Trip of the Soviet Party-Governmental Delegation to the PRC,' by M. Suslov to CC CPSU Presidium for Presentation to a Forthcoming CC CPSU Plenum (excerpt)

    Draft report by M. Suslov describing the visit of a Soviet delegation to the People’s Republic of China, mainly focusing on the deterioration of relations between India and China.

  • February 05, 1960

    Prime Minister Nehru's Letter to Premier Chou En-lai [Zhou Enlai]

  • February 23, 1960

    Meeting Minutes between Zhang Weile and Soviet Deputy Director of the Far Eastern Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs R. Sh. Kudashev

    Kudashev explained why the USSR was lobbying for Nehru: His influence in Asia, the importance of Indian support in the upcoming East-West Summit Conference, the possibility of enlisting India as an ally. He also discussed treaties between China and Burma and Indonesia.

  • February 24, 1960

    Cable from the Xinhua Branch in New Delhi, 'The Sino-Indian Border Issue Mentioned in Nehru-Khrushchev Talks'

    The Xinhua Office in New Delhi reports that Nehru and Khrushchev broached the Sino-Indian border dispute in their recent talks.

  • February 24, 1960

    Cable from the Chinese Embassy in India, 'Soviet Attaché in India Tells Us That Nehru Initiated Discussion of Border Issue in Nehru-Khrushchev Talks'

    The Chinese Embassy in India reports that it was Nehru who raised the Sino-Indian border dispute in discussions with Nikita Khrushchev.

  • March 01, 1960

    Cable from the Chinese Embassy in Indonesia, 'Memorandum of Conversation: Ambassador Huang Meets with Comrade Khrushchev'

    Huang Zhen and Nikita Khrushchev briefly discuss Sino-Soviet relations, Sino-Indian relations, and Soviet-Indonesian relations during a visit by Khrushchev to Jakarta.

  • March 06, 1960

    Cable from the Chinese Embassy in India, 'Report on Khrushchev-Nehru Talks in Calcutta'

    The Soviet Cultural Attache reports on the Khrushchev-Nehru talks to a Xinhua reporter.

  • April 20, 1960

    Record of Conversation between Jawaharlal Nehru and Zhou Enlai

    Record of conversation between Nehru and Zhou discussing the Sino-Indian border dispute and recent situation in Tibet. Two leaders exchanged their views on the issues.

  • April 20, 1960

    Record of the Talks between PM [Jawaharlal Nehru] and Premier Chou [Zhou Enlai] held on 20th April, 1960, from 5 p.m. 7 p.m. at the Prime Minister's Residence

    Record of conversation between Indian PM Nehru and Chinese Premier Zhou explaining their own nation's rights over the contested border area. They disagree with each other on the basic facts.

  • April 21, 1960

    Record of Conversation between Zhou Enlai and Vice-President Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan

    Vice-Prisident Radhakrishnan discussed the historical mutual friendship between China and India. He indicated that the mutual friendship will help to solve the border dispute. Zhou replied that the historical disputes shall be resolved by the new government.

  • April 21, 1960

    Record of Conversation between R.K. Nehru and Zhou Enlai

    PM Nehru first asked Premier Zhou regarding the political situation in Middle East, paticularly U.A.E, Syria and Egypt. Then, Nehru expressed his concern on the revolt in Tibet 1959. Zhou addressed the Tibet incident was China's domestic affairs.

  • April 21, 1960

    Record of Talks between PM [Jawaharlal Nehru] and Premier Chou En Lai [Zhou Enlai] held on 21st April, 1960 from 4 p.m. to 6.30 p.m.