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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.

  • 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 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 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 23, 1960

    Notes on Conversation between Sardar Swaran Singh and Marshal Chen Yi

    Swaran Singh and Chen Yi discuss the dispute over the boundaries of the Sino-Indian border.

  • April 24, 1960

    Record of Talks between Prime Minister Nehru and Premier Zhou Enlai

    Nehru and Zhou Enlai discuss the dispute over the boundaries of the Sino-Indian border.

  • June 27, 1960

    Memorandum of Conversation between Albanian Ambassador to the PRC Mihal Prifti and Soviet Ambassador to the PRC Stepan V. Chervonenko

    Prifti and Chervonenko discuss Chervonenko's meetings with Peng Zhen on the Sino-Indian border dispute, the decision to send a delegation to the Romanian Workers' Party Congress in Bucharest, and Peng's visit to Moscow. Prifti and Chervonenko also reviewed China's attempts to develop atomic bomb and to compete with the Soviet to be the leader of the world's workers' and communist movement, and the power struggle with the Chinese Communist Party.

  • July 17, 1961

    Memorandum of Three Conversations Between Director Zhang Wenji and the Indian Ambassador Regarding Sino-Indian Border Issues and the Two Countries’ Relations

    Three conversations between Zhang Wenji and Indian ambassador Parthasarathy, addressing the future of Sino-Indian relations, the Sino-Indian border issue, and India's policies toward Bhutan, Sikkim, and Pakistan.

  • July 17, 1961

    Memorandum of Conversation between Director Zhang Wenji and Indian Ambassador Parthasarathy (2)

    Zhang Wenji and Parthasarathy discuss how to best solve the differences of opinion on the Sino-Indian border held between China and India. Zhang and Parthasarathy discuss different methods and approaches, including a re-examination of historical facts around the Sino-Indian border, focusing on larger patterns and issues, and an emphasis on more detailed and current issues.

  • July 17, 1961

    Memorandum of Conversation between Director Zhang Wenji and Indian Ambassador Parthasarathy (1)

    Parthasarathy and Zhang Wenji hold an unofficial and informal discussion on the causes for the deterioration of relations between India and China in the last few years (before 1961). Both sides express a desire to improve relations, but also give reasons for grievances, mainly concerning public criticisms made in the press of one country toward the other, and specific disagreements regarding Sino-Indian border issues.

  • July 19, 1961

    Memorandum of Conversation between Director Zhang Wenji and Indian Ambassador Parthasarathy (3)

    Zhang and Parthasarathy continue their conversation on how to solve conflicts stemming from the Sino-Indian border dispute. The two discuss the best possible method to bring about compromise and agreement between the two sides.

  • January 17, 1962

    Entry from the Journal of Soviet Ambassador to India I.A. Benediktov

    Journal entry by Benediktov describing a conversation with Secretary of the National Council of the Communist Party of India, Bhupesh Gupta. During the conversation, Gupta urgently requests Soviet financial aid for the Indian party for use in an upcoming election campaign; the answer conveyed by Benediktov ten days later suggests that the Soviets responded positively to the request, although the amount is not indicated.

  • January 27, 1962

    Entry from the journal of Soviet ambassador to India Benediktov, conversation with the Secretary of the National Council of the Communist Party of India

    Journal entry by Benediktov describing a conversation with Secretary of the National Council of the Communist Party of India, Bhupesh Gupta. Benediktov met with Gupta again on 27 January 1962 (as the Soviet envoy recorded in his diary four days later).

  • April 21, 1962

    Chinese Foreign Ministry, Presentation of Diplomatic Note to India Concerning Indian Military Personnel’s Encroachment on Chinese Territory

    The Chinese Foreign Ministry alleges that Indian military personnel have entered into Xinjiang and demands that India cease from dispatching troops into Chinese territory