Presentation is loading. Please wait.

Presentation is loading. Please wait.

Prospects for Trans-Himalayan research amidst warming Sino-Indian relations Rajiv Rawat Annual Meeting of the Ontario Division of the Canadian Association.

Similar presentations


Presentation on theme: "Prospects for Trans-Himalayan research amidst warming Sino-Indian relations Rajiv Rawat Annual Meeting of the Ontario Division of the Canadian Association."— Presentation transcript:

1 Prospects for Trans-Himalayan research amidst warming Sino-Indian relations Rajiv Rawat Annual Meeting of the Ontario Division of the Canadian Association of Geographers Waterloo, Ontario October 30, 2004

2 Why the Trans-Himalayas? Source of most major rivers in Asia Source of most major rivers in Asia Biodiversity hotspot & sensitive ecological zone Biodiversity hotspot & sensitive ecological zone Physical, political, cultural juncture of two most populous civilizations in the world Physical, political, cultural juncture of two most populous civilizations in the world Economic expansion of China and India being increasingly felt Economic expansion of China and India being increasingly felt

3 Why Ontario, Why Canada? Toronto is home to large Chinese and Indian diasporic populations Toronto is home to large Chinese and Indian diasporic populations Himalayan barriers remain between communities in Asia, but less so in Canada Himalayan barriers remain between communities in Asia, but less so in Canada US-Canada cross-border relations can serve as a model for the trans-Himalayas US-Canada cross-border relations can serve as a model for the trans-Himalayas Canada’s policies are oriented towards both countries Canada’s policies are oriented towards both countries

4 Why a Regional Focus? Unique and intense physical and human features Unique and intense physical and human features Mountain regions have specific geographies distinguished by variations in altitude Mountain regions have specific geographies distinguished by variations in altitude Mountain communities are often culturally distinct from lowland settlements Mountain communities are often culturally distinct from lowland settlements Regional focus overcomes national antipathies with international collaboration & cooperation on common environmental & livelihood issues Regional focus overcomes national antipathies with international collaboration & cooperation on common environmental & livelihood issues

5 A Tectonic Border

6 Explorers & Adventurers Site of pilgrimage since Buddhism spread from India to the East Site of pilgrimage since Buddhism spread from India to the East Modern era controversial figures: Francis Younghusband, Sven Hedin, Heinrich Harrer Modern era controversial figures: Francis Younghusband, Sven Hedin, Heinrich Harrer Lesser known Indian explorers of the Survey of India Lesser known Indian explorers of the Survey of India Mountaineers & survey teams Mountaineers & survey teams

7 Origins of Conflict 1904Younghusband’s march to Lhasa 1904Younghusband’s march to Lhasa 1911Revolution in China, Tibet asserts complete sovereignty 1911Revolution in China, Tibet asserts complete sovereignty 1914Shimla conference and drawing of the McMahon Line 1914Shimla conference and drawing of the McMahon Line 1951China reenters Tibet & forced signing of the Seventeen Point Agreement 1951China reenters Tibet & forced signing of the Seventeen Point Agreement 1959Tibetan uprising, Dalai Lama flees to India 1959Tibetan uprising, Dalai Lama flees to India 1962India-China War 1962India-China War 1965-Friction over Cold War alignments 1965-Friction over Cold War alignments

8 The McMahon Line 1914 “Simla Convention” defined boundary between Tibet and British India “Simla Convention” defined boundary between Tibet and British India Signed by Britain and Tibet but repudiated by China, leading to India-China War Signed by Britain and Tibet but repudiated by China, leading to India-China War

9

10 Catastrophe of 1962 Closure of border ended centuries-old trans-Himalayan trade relations Closure of border ended centuries-old trans-Himalayan trade relations Loss of cultural ties leading to assimilation pressures on both sides Loss of cultural ties leading to assimilation pressures on both sides Re-orientation of Himalayan economies away from border, absorption into huge markets of India and China Re-orientation of Himalayan economies away from border, absorption into huge markets of India and China Marginalization of Himalayan communities, loss of lands and livelihoods Marginalization of Himalayan communities, loss of lands and livelihoods

11 Assimilation & Marginalization

12 Geography Interrupted Accurate large scale maps of Indian border areas restricted in 1967 Accurate large scale maps of Indian border areas restricted in 1967 Border passage effectively ended, even for local nomads & transhumants Border passage effectively ended, even for local nomads & transhumants Militarization of border & restrictions on passage & entry of border districts Militarization of border & restrictions on passage & entry of border districts Historical data & archives of NEFA, Kashmir, Tibet, Bhutan, India-China conflict, etc., indefinitely classified Historical data & archives of NEFA, Kashmir, Tibet, Bhutan, India-China conflict, etc., indefinitely classified

13 Rapprochement 1951India recognizes China’s claim to Tibet, recognizes PRC as legitimate government of China 1951India recognizes China’s claim to Tibet, recognizes PRC as legitimate government of China 1954Panchshilla Doctrine 1954Panchshilla Doctrine 1977Vajpayee’s first trip to China 1977Vajpayee’s first trip to China 1988Rajiv Gandhi’s trip to China 1988Rajiv Gandhi’s trip to China 1993Limited opening of border 1993Limited opening of border 2003Vajpayee’s second trip to China 2003Vajpayee’s second trip to China 2004Continuing CBMs & discussions 2004Continuing CBMs & discussions

14 Recent Cooperation 2004 Aug. Cooperation & joint strategizing on Himalayan river floods after initial secrecy Aug. Cooperation & joint strategizing on Himalayan river floods after initial secrecy Pareechu River, October 2003Engorged Pareechu Lake, September 2004

15 Recent Cooperation 2004 Sept.Celebrations of Indian Independence Day & Chinese National Day at border posts Sept.Celebrations of Indian Independence Day & Chinese National Day at border posts Tawang, Arunachal Pradesh August 15 & October 1, 2004

16 Trade Bilateral trade will surpass $10 billion (US) in 2004, 88% increase from 2003, & several hundred fold from $2.5 million in 1977 & $1.16 billion in Bilateral trade will surpass $10 billion (US) in 2004, 88% increase from 2003, & several hundred fold from $2.5 million in 1977 & $1.16 billion in Most of this trade is maritime Most of this trade is maritime Two trading posts open at Shipki La (Himachal), Lipu Lekh La (Uttaranchal) Two trading posts open at Shipki La (Himachal), Lipu Lekh La (Uttaranchal) Border trade valued at $100 million, to increase five fold in five years Border trade valued at $100 million, to increase five fold in five years Nathu La (Sikkim) to be opened & another post in Leh (Ladakh) Nathu La (Sikkim) to be opened & another post in Leh (Ladakh)

17

18 The Tibetan Question

19 Cultural Survival Influx of Ethnic Chinese into Tibet, parallel influx of Bengalis into Assam & Arunachal, and land speculators into Indian Himalayan states Influx of Ethnic Chinese into Tibet, parallel influx of Bengalis into Assam & Arunachal, and land speculators into Indian Himalayan states Forces of cultural homogenization & economic marginalization at work on both sides of Himalayas Forces of cultural homogenization & economic marginalization at work on both sides of Himalayas Will trade & economic integration accelerate this process, or lead to another possible future? Will trade & economic integration accelerate this process, or lead to another possible future?

20 Destination or Waypoint? Contested Golmud to Lhasa Railway will permanently link Tibet to rest of China Contested Golmud to Lhasa Railway will permanently link Tibet to rest of China Yet will Lhasa connect to Calcutta, and thus restore its central role in trans-Asian trade? Yet will Lhasa connect to Calcutta, and thus restore its central role in trans-Asian trade?

21 Kailash & Mansarovar Holiest, but least visited sacred place in the world Metaphysical centre of the world in Hindu, Buddhist, Jain, & Bon Cosmologies Central geographic axis of emerging Asian Century?

22 Reimagining the Himalayas Peripheral Borderlands Central Pivot of an Unified, Peaceful, and Prosperous Asia

23 Research Initiatives Well developed on environmental front: Well developed on environmental front: International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD) International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD) Mountain Forum Mountain Forum Chapter 13 of Agenda 21 Chapter 13 of Agenda International Year of Mountains 2002 International Year of Mountains Developing on political front: Developing on political front: China-India Project of Hong Kong University China-India Project of Hong Kong University

24 Potential for Joint Research Climate Change & Retreat of Glaciers Climate Change & Retreat of Glaciers Seismic Studies Seismic Studies Conservation Biology Conservation Biology Disaster Management & Mitigation Disaster Management & Mitigation GIS for Infrastructure, Transportation, & Urban Planning GIS for Infrastructure, Transportation, & Urban Planning Cultural Anthropology Religious Studies Sustainable Development Political Science Trade Policy Studies

25 Key Questions How will Himalayan borderland communities be affected by increased trade? How will their interests be safeguarded? How will Himalayan borderland communities be affected by increased trade? How will their interests be safeguarded? How will traffic along enlarged roads impact the environment & the integrity of local culture? How will their effects be mitigated? How will traffic along enlarged roads impact the environment & the integrity of local culture? How will their effects be mitigated? How can research & travel facilitated in North America & Europe aid the Himalayas? How can research & travel facilitated in North America & Europe aid the Himalayas?

26 Links The Nanda Devi Campaign: Weblog of Doctoral Research:


Download ppt "Prospects for Trans-Himalayan research amidst warming Sino-Indian relations Rajiv Rawat Annual Meeting of the Ontario Division of the Canadian Association."

Similar presentations


Ads by Google