The Sino-Indian War, also known as the Sino-Indian Border Conflict, was a war between China and India that occurred in 1962. A disputed Himalayan border was the pretext for war. There had been a series of violent border incidents after the 1959 Tibetan uprising, Chinese troops advanced over Indian forces in both theatres, capturing Rezang la in Chushul in the western theatre, as well as Tawang in the eastern theatre. The war ended when China declared a ceasefire on 20 November 1962, Indian posts and patrols were removed from Aksai Chin, which came under direct Chinese control after the end of the conflict. It was the 3rd major loss of land for India after losing Gilgit-Baltistan, the Sino-Indian War is notable for the harsh mountain conditions under which much of the fighting took place, entailing large-scale combat at altitudes of over 4,000 metres. The Sino-Indian War was also noted for the non-deployment of the navy or air force by either the Chinese or Indian side. China and India shared a border, sectioned into three stretches by Nepal, Sikkim, and Bhutan, which follows the Himalayas between Burma and what was then West Pakistan. A number of disputed regions lie along this border, at its western end is the Aksai Chin region, an area the size of Switzerland, that sits between the Chinese autonomous region of Xinjiang and Tibet. The eastern border, between Burma and Bhutan, comprises the present Indian state of Arunachal Pradesh, both of these regions were overrun by China in the 1962 conflict. Most combat took place at high altitudes, the Aksai Chin region is a desert of salt flats around 5,000 metres above sea level, and Arunachal Pradesh is mountainous with a number of peaks exceeding 7,000 metres. The Chinese Army had possession of one of the highest ridges in the regions, the high altitude and freezing conditions also cause logistical and welfare difficulties, in past similar conflicts harsh conditions have caused more casualties than have enemy action. The Sino-Indian War was no different, with troops on both sides dying in the freezing cold. The cause of the war was a dispute over the sovereignty of the widely separated Aksai Chin, Aksai Chin, claimed by India to belong to Kashmir and by China to be part of Xinjiang, contains an important road link that connects the Chinese regions of Tibet and Xinjiang. Chinas construction of road was one of the triggers of the conflict. The western portion of the Sino-Indian boundary originated in 1834, with the Sikh Confederacys conquest of Ladakh, in 1842, the Sikh Confederacy, which at the time ruled over much of Northern India, signed a treaty which guaranteed the integrity of its existing borders with its neighbours. The boundaries at its two extremities, Pangong Lake and Karakoram Pass, were defined, but the Aksai Chin area in between lay undefined. W. H. Johnson, a servant with the Survey of India, proposed the Johnson Line in 1865. Johnson presented this line to the Maharaja of Kashmir, who claimed the 18,000 square kilometres contained within
Pre-Simla British map published in 1909 shows the so-called "Outer Line" as India's northern boundary
Postal Map of China published by the Government of China in 1917
Traditional borders of Jammu and Kashmir (CIA map). The northern boundary is along the Karakash valley. Aksai Chin is the shaded region in the east.
1873 map of trade routes between Ladakh and Chinese Turkestan. The international border between the British Indian Empire (including the Kashmir region) and Chinese Turkestan is shown in two-toned purple and pink.