Chronology of India-China relations (1947 - 2002)

India tries to consolidate its position as a sovereign independent nation as the civil strife between Communist forces led by Mao Zedong and the Nationalists led by Chiang Kai-shek in China reaches its culmination.


4 Dec 1947
Congress leader N G Ranga tells Parliament that India was aware of the fact that both the USSR and the United States wanted to establish their hold on China.

Chiang Kai-shek expresses suspicion over a Tibetan delegation visiting India to attend the Asian Relations Conference.

8 March 1948
India proclaims non-interference in China's internal matters and opts for non-alignment.

1 Oct 1949
People's Republic of China proclaimed, with Mao Zedong as the Chairman and Zhou Enlai as the Prime Minister and Foreign Minister.

30 Dec 1949
India becomes the second non-communist nation to recognize the Peoples' Republic of China the first being Burma.

31 Jan 1950
President Rajendra Prasad expresses his desire for an early exchange of diplomatic representatives.

1 April 1950
K M Panikker appointed first Indian Ambassador to China.

7 Oct 1950
Chinese troops cross the Sino-Tibetan boundary, and move towards Lhasa.

Nov 1950
India opposes UN resolutions branding China as an aggressor in the Korean War.

6 Dec 1950
Nehru advocates China's membership in the United Nations in a Parliamentary debate held in New Delhi.


May 1951
The Chinese capture the Tibetan Governor of Chamdo and made him sign a "17-point Agreement" in Peking, which concedes China's full suzerainty over Tibet.

5 Feb 1952
India expresses great satisfaction over the peaceful turn of events and establishes cultural contacts with China.


29 April 1954
Sino-Indian Agreement on Trade and Intercourse between India and Tibet region of China signed by Nehru and Zhou Enlai in Beijing.

15 May 1954
China and India sign the Five Principles of Peaceful Co-existence or Panchsheel.
They are:
(1) Mutual respect for each other's territorial integrity and sovereignty;
(2) Mutual non-aggression;
(3) Mutual non-interference in each other's internal affairs;
(4) Equality and mutual benefit, and
(5) Peaceful coexistence

June 1954
Chinese Prime Minister Zhou Enlai visits India for the first time, stresses on the five principles

25 Aug 1954
Nehru in the Lok Sabha welcomed China's inclusion in the Geneva Conference for recognition of China as a new Asian nation.

29 Sept 1954
India expresses regret at the General Assembly resolution postponing discussion of Communist China's membership in the UN. Taiwan was still recognised as China by the UN at that time.

14 Oct 1954
A Sino-Indian trade agreement signed in Beijing between Nehru and Zhou Enlai and Sino-Indian Friendship Associations established in both the countries.


Feb 1955
Indian President Rajendra Prasad recognizes China's claims over Formosa (Now Taiwan) as justified in Parliament.

2 March 1955
India objects to the inclusion of a portion of India's northern frontier on the official map of China, saying it was a clear infringement of Panchsheel

1 April 1955
India signs a Protocol at Lhasa handing over to China the control of all communication services in Tibet.

April 1955
Nehru and Zhou Enlai pledge to promote friendly ties at the Asian-African conference at Bandung.


Nov 1956
Zhou Enlai visits India for the second time on a goodwill mission.

18 Dec 1956
Chinese nationals who entered Ladakh were illegally detained and later sent back to China.


Sept 1957
Indian Vice-President S. Radhakrishnan's visits China

4 Sept 1958
India officially objects to the inclusion of a big chunk of Northern Assam and NEFA in the China Pictorial - an official organ of the Chinese Peoples' Republic.


23 Jan 1959
Zhou Enlai spells out for the first time China's claims to over 40,000 square miles of Indian territory both in Ladakh and NEFA.

3 April 1959
Dalai Lama escapes from Lhasa and crosses into Indian territory. India's decision to grant asylum to him sours relations with Beijing.

13 Aug 1959
China's offensive propaganda campaign for the liberation of Ladakh , Sikkim and Bhutan worries India.

25 Aug 1959
Chinese troops open fire on an Indian Picket near Migyitun in Eastern Ladakh killing one Indian soldier. They also overrun the Indian outpost at Longju, in North-eastern Ladakh.

7 Sept 1959
Nehru tables the First White Paper on India-China relations comprising notes, memoranda and letters exchanged between the Governments of India and China between April 1954 and August 1959 in Parliament.

8 Sept 1959
China refuses to accept the Mc Mohan Line with Zhou Enlai stating that China was not a signatory to the 1842 Peace Treaty between British India and England. Further, Beijing laid claims to almost 50,000 square miles of Indian territory in Sikkim and Bhutan.

20 Oct 1959
Chinese troops fire on an Indian patrol in the Aksai Chin area killing nine soldiers and capturing ten.

7 Nov 1959
Zhou Enlai proposes a 20 km withdrawal by forces from both sides of the Mcmohan line and Line of Actual Control.


19 April 1960
A meeting in New Delhi between Zhou Enlai and Nehru to address the boundary question ends in deadlock.

25 April 1960
China refuses to acknowledge the Officials' Report - a detailed study of all historical documents, records, maps and other materials relevant to the boundary question - published by India as the basis for resolution of the boundary dispute.

3 June 1960
Chinese troops violates the Indian border in Shipki village in the NEFA region.

24 Oct 1960
Indian Opposition leaders report 52 violations of the Indian air space by the Chinese troops in NEFA, Uttar Pradesh and Ladakh.


Feb 1961
China refuses to discuss the Sino-Bhutanese and Sino-Sikkimese boundary disputes and further occupies 12,000 square miles in the western sector of the Sino-Indian border.

July 1961
India's Secretary General of the External Affairs Ministry, R. K. Nehru's visit to China for improving ties proves futile.

31 Oct 1961
Chinese starts aggressive border patrolling and establishes new military formations, which start moving into Indian territory. .

21 Nov 1961
Fresh Chinese incursions into the Ladakh area.

Dec 1961
India under Nehru adopts the Forward Policy to stem the advancing Chinese frontier line. The Forward Policy involved the establishment of a few symbolic posts in Ladakh so that India might be in a position to take action to recover any territory within Chinese possession. It also sought to block potential lines of further Chinese advance.

April 1962
China issues ultimatum demanding the withdrawal of the Indian frontier personnel from the border posts.

22 May 1962
Parliamentarian Hem Barua (Congress) in a Call Attention Notice in Parliament reports the indignation heaped on the Indian Embassy In Beijing, which was denied permission to celebrate the Republic day by the Chinese Government.

2 June 1962
China rejects India's demands to withdraw its forces from Indian territory.

3 June 1962
The Agreement on Trade and Intercourse between India and China lapses.

10 June 1962
Indian and Chinese soldiers face off within a 100yards of each other in the Galwan Valley in Ladakh and an armed clash was narrowly averted when the Chinese withdrew just at a time when India threatened to use force.

26 July 1962
Both sides indicate willingness to hold discussions on the basis of the Officials' Report which China earlier disregarded, for the resolution of the boundary dispute.

13 Aug 1962
The Indian Government moves a motion calling for consideration of the situation along the Indo-China border, particularly in the Ladakh region.

13 Sept 1962
China repeats its proposal for the withdrawal of the armed forces by both sides, 20km back from the Indian border.

20 Sept 1962
Chinese forces cross the Mc Mohan Line in the Thagla region 2 miles east of Dhola in NEFA and open fire on an auxiliary Indian post.

29 Sept 1962
Chinese forces launch another intensified attack in the North-eastern border.

6 Oct 1962
New Delhi again accuses China of intruding into Indian territory in the eastern sector and attacking Indian forces.

20 Oct 1962
China launches a massive multi-pronged attack all along the border from NEFA to Ladakh.

24 Oct 1962
China proposes a three-point cease-fire formula -- Both parties wouldrespect the Line of Actual Control, the armed forces would withdraw 20km from this line and; talks between the prime-ministers of both countries to seek a friendly settlement.

26 Oct 1962
India proclaims national emergency.

27 Oct 1962
Nehru rejects China's ceasefire proposal.

15 Nov 1962
A massive Chinese attack on the eastern front, Tawang, Walong in the western sector over run, Rezang La and the Chushul airport shelled. .

18 Nov 1962
Chinese troops capture Bomdila in the NEFA region

21 Nov 1962
China declares a unilateral ceasefire along the entire border andannounces withdrawal of its troops to position 20km behind the LAC.

8 Dec 1962
China sends a note signed by Zhou Enlai to India reiterating the three-point ceasefire formula. India accepts.

10 Dec 1962
Colombo proposals endorsed.

(Six non-aligned nations--Egypt, Burma, Cambodia, Sri Lanka, Ghana and Indonesia met in Colombo and formulated these proposals. The proposals, negotiated between Zhou Enlai and Nehru, stipulated Chinese withdrawal of 20km from the traditional customary lines as claimed by China, without any corresponding withdrawal on the Indian side. In the east, the LAC recognized by both governments was to be treated as a ceasefire line, while the status quo would be maintained in the middle sector.)

  Compiled by : Reshmi Fatima Kazi for


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