Sino-Indian Relations Prior to 1954

  • W. F. Van Eekelen


The speed with which the Indian Government accustomed itself to the conduct of foreign policy can be explained by the interest taken in external affairs by the nationalist movement, the Indian National Congress, which was founded as early as 1885. Originally its attention was directed towards issues closely related to India’s neighbours. The use of the Indian army and the consequent drain on Indian resources by various British expeditions caused early protests. The first session of the Congress passed a resolution condemning the annexation of Upper Burma, largely because of fears of increased taxation, and advocated separate status for Burma as a Crown Colony. In 1891 reference was made to the subject again as a possible source of a clash with China. The Younghusband expedition to Tibet in 1904 was severely criticised by the Congress President, Sir Henry Cotton, as an “act of wanton violence and agression.” Another member condemned the action, because there were no indications of fresh provocation by Russia in Tibet or Central Asia, which in any case would not necessarily concern India.1 In view of the importance they would later acquire, relations with Tibet deserve further attention.


Foreign Policy Foreign Affair External Affair Congress Party Peaceful Settlement 
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© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 1967

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  • W. F. Van Eekelen

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