The India-China border question is a subject on which a great deal of authentic and original material is available in the form of maps, documents, treaties, official correspondence, and exhaustive reports by the two governments concerned. But the vastness of this material and the complexity of the question make it difficult for the lay reader to get at the main points of the argument.
G.N. Rao has attempted here, in a small compass, a clear and lucid analysis of the nature of evidence involved, the basic geographical factors as well as the main historical events which determined the evolution of the India-China boundary. He has examined at length the relative merits of the Indian and the Chinese cases and critically appraised the arguments advanced in some quarters, in justification of some of the Chinese claims. With the help of documentary evidence, much of which is unpublished, he shows that although Britain's obsession with Russophobia and her anxiety to limit her own defence responsibilities predisposed her in China's favour and actually made her encourage Chinese occupation of certain areas over which China had, in fact, little control, neither she nor Imperial China ever envisaged the type of claims which the present-day China has put forward over vast areas along the Indian border. The current dispute between India and China, the author concludes, is not a mere boundary dispute, but one which involves deeper considerations underlying Chinese policies.