The McMahon Line

The root of the problem in the eastern sector is that while India recognises McMahon Line as the border with China, the Chinese don’t. They describe it as ‘so-called McMahon Line’ — which is the eastern part of the 4,057 km-long LAC extending from Ladakh in the west. The line is named after Sir Henry McMahon, foreign secretary for British India and the chief British negotiator of the convention of 1914 in which the Simla Accord between British India and Tibet was signed. This agreement had effectively made the McMahon line the boundary between India and Tibet. While the Chinese have built several airports close to the McMahon line, apart from super highways that run parallel to the border, the Indian side has little to show by way of investment. For instance, there’s just one motorable road to the forward areas along the border. The Chinese are intruding in a wellplanned manner with the objective of closing in around Arunachal Pradesh. India’s counter is by building a trans-Arunachal road. Recently, the IAF upgraded a MIG-21 pilot training base at Tezpur to a Su MK-III base. It also plans to bring in more frontline fighters into this area at a base to be developed at Chabua in Dibrugarh. Deployment of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), too, is under consideration.

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