Politics & International Studies

The Chinese concept of sovereignty and the India- China border dispute.

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As China emphasises to do more to safeguard its sovereignty, security, and development interests, hyper-nationalism over boundaries is set to increase, 


Sriparna Pathak, Assistant Professor, Jindal School of International Affairs, O.P. Jindal Global University, Sonipat, Haryana, India.


Any discussion on India-China relations invariably has the looming backdrop of a historical boundary dispute between the two. While the origins of the dispute date back to pre-independence and pre-liberation times respectively, the fact remains that the resolution of the dispute is yet to take place. 

What has been a constant is China’s persistent emphasis on its need to safeguard China’s security and territorial integrity along with ensuring peaceful development. This has found a mention in China’s national party congresses, and in his speech at the 19th Party Congress in 2017. 

Chinese President Xi Jinping mentioned ‘ sovereignty four times and stated that China will do more to safeguard its sovereignty, security, and development interests and that China will enhance capacity – building for national security and resolutely safeguard China ‘s sovereignty, security, and development interests. 

He added that China will fulfill its constitutional responsibility of safeguarding China’s sovereignty and reiterated that the Party stands firm in safeguarding China’s sovereignty and territorial integrity (China Daily, November 4, 2017). Sovereignty, therefore, is clearly a dear concept for China, and hyper-nationalism over boundaries is set to increase.

Published in: Dhananjay Tripathi (ed.) book titled “Reimagining border studies in South Asia”, (pp.20- 33) India: Routledge.

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