New Delhi: Amid Sino-India border faceoff along Line of Actual Control (LAC) in eastern Ladakh, China’s expansionist designs against its other neighbouring nations have also been exposed. The Communist nation is known to have border disputes with as many as 18 countries. The details are given below:
India-China border row
China has illegally occupied a 38,000 sq km of India’s land in Aksai Chin. In the Eastern sector, China also claims approximately 90,000 square kilometers of Indian Territory in the state of Arunachal Pradesh. The central sector, which mostly covers the state of Uttarakhand, India has a 545 km-long boundary with China. Beijing claims nearly 2,450 square km of territory in the different pockets.
Nepal-China border dispute
China is also being accused of encroaching upon the territory of Nepal. Three members of the Nepali Congress moved a resolution in the House of Representatives – the Lower Chamber of the Nepalese Parliament – asking the Oli government to restore the country’s territory, which had been encroached upon by China.
The Nepali Congress MPs alleged that China had encroached 64 hectares of land in Dolakha, Humla, Sindhupalchowk, Sankhuwasabha, Gorkha and Rasuwa districts of the country, besides alleging that few of the total 98 boundary pillars along the 1414.88-kilometer-long border between Nepal and China has gone missing while several others had been shifted inside the territory of Nepal.
Earlier in May 2020, China’s state-run China Global Television Network claimed Mount Everest as part of China and not Nepal in a tweet, which created a massive outrage from Nepalis and the tweet was later deleted. China claims parts of Nepal dating back to the Sino-Nepalese War in 1788-1792, stating that they are part of Tibet, therefore part of China.
China-Bhutan border row
In July 2017, senior Bhutanese officials spoke up against Chinese encroachments along the border and asked China to respect the procedure for border settlement that it had itself agreed on with Bhutan.
Post-Doklam standoff, it was reported that China continues to make similar encroachments as many cases have emerged where Chinese patrols have hindered Bhutanese graziers from accessing pasture lands falling within Bhutan’s territory.
China also has a maritime conflict with Taiwan, Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Vietnam, and Japan. Due to the deep resources, China has been claiming the waters based on “historic rights”.
China has been repeatedly adding its naval presence to the waters surrounding the area that includes islands, reefs, banks and other features in the South China Sea, including the Spratly Islands with Vietnam, Philippines, Malaysia, Brunei, Taiwan; Paracel Islands with Vietnam; Scarborough Shoal with the Philippines; and Gulf of Tonkin with Vietnam.
Eastern China Sea
China has Exclusive Economic Zone disputes with North Korea, South Korea, and Japan in the Yellow Sea (North Korea/South Korea) and East China Sea (South Korea/Japan). The details are given below:
1. Vietnam: China has occupied the Paracel Islands since 1974 when its troops seized a South Vietnamese garrison occupying the western islands. China built a military installation on Woody Island with an airfield and artificial harbor. Taiwan and Vietnam also claim their right over the islands.
2. Japan: The China-Japan dispute is over a group of uninhabited islands that fall in the Eastern China Sea and is named as the Senkaku Islands by Japan and the Diaoyu Islands by China. The Islands have been under Japan’s control since the 1890s, however in the 1970s, when the evidence of oil reserves came to fore, China expressed its claim over the islands.
Despite Japan and the US rejecting China’s claim, the latter has succeeded in making Senkaku Island a “disputed territory” with its aggressive propaganda.
3. Taiwan: China claims its right over Taiwan, but disputes are mainly over Macclesfield Bank, Paracel Islands, Scarborough Shoal, parts of the South China Sea, and the Spratly Islands. The Paracel Islands, also known as the Xisha Islands in Vietnamese, is a group of islands in the South China Sea whose sovereignty is claimed by China, Taiwan, Vietnam, and Myanmar (Burma).
4. Philippines: Parts of the South China Sea are contested between the two countries. The Philippines took this to the International Court of Justice, where they won the case but China did not abide by the ICJ order.
Scarborough Shoal is a semi-submerged shoal where dispute initially flared back in 1997. The flare-up, however, reached its peak during April 2012 that eventually led to the Chinese control of the area. Later, the Philippines’s initiated arbitral proceedings in January 2013 at the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) against China. On July 12, 2016, the arbitral tribunal awarded the case in favour of the Philippines, but China has refused to accept the legal award.
5. North Korea: Baekdu Mountain and Jiandao are bone of contention between the two nations. China has also claimed its right over all of North Korea on historical grounds (Yuan Dynasty, 1271-1368).
6. Russia: Despite signing several agreements, China unilaterally claims 160,000 square kilometers territory of Russia. Russians are increasingly apprehensive of encroachment from contiguous China into Far East Russia which is resource-rich, but sparsely populated, according to people familiar with the dynamics of Sino-Russian ties.
7. Singapore: Parts of the South China Sea are contested by both countries.
8. South Korea: Parts of the East China Sea is the reason behind the dispute. China has also claimed all of South Korea on historical grounds (Yuan Dynasty, 1271-1368).
9. Laos: China also claims its right over a large part of Laos on historical precedents (China’s Yuan Dynasty, 1271-1368).
10. Tajikistan: Chinese claims over Tajikistan territory is based on historical precedent (Qing Dynasty, 1644-1912).
11. Cambodia: China has, on occasion, claimed parts of Cambodia on historical precedent (China’s Ming Dynasty, 1368-1644).
13. Mongolia: China claims all of Mongolia on historical precedent (Yuan Dynasty, 1271-1368). In fact, Mongolia, under Genghis Khan, occupied China.
14. Tibet: Buddhist nation Tibet was an independent country during 1913 and 1950. The Chinese army invaded Tibet’s eastern borders and captured it in 1950. China also claims that Tibet has been an inalienable part of China since the 13th century under the Yuan dynasty.
Tibet is currently under China’s occupation and has been divided up, renamed and incorporated into Chinese provinces. When China refers to Tibet, it means only part of historic Tibet, which has been named as the Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR) of China. Tibet’s 12.28 Lakh SqKm territory is under Chinese control.
China has captured the territory of these nations:
-Eastern Turkestan (Xinjiang province): 16.6 Lakh SqKm
-Inner Mongolia: 11.83 Lakh SqKm
-Taiwan: 36197 SqKm
-Hong Kong: 1106.66 SqKm
-Macao: 32.9 SqKm