Interestingly, former National Security Advisor Shivshankar Menon who was India's Special Representative for border talks till 2014, has mentioned the issue in his recently released book "Choices: Inside the Making of India's Foreign Policy".
While China demanded concessions in the Western sector before the 1962 war, it changed the line to East after 1980s. "Chinese officials began saying in the 1980s that Beijing would compromise only if India made major adjustments first, adding that once India indicated concessions in the East, China would indicate concessions in the West," Menon wrote in the book.
"In 1985, China specified that the concession it was seeking in the East was Tawang, Arunachal Pradesh, something that any government of India would find difficult to accept, as this was settled area that had sent representatives to every Indian Parliament since 1950," he wrote.
"The Indian Supreme Court also held in the Berubari case in 1956 that the government could not cede sovereign territory to another government without a constitutional amendment, though it could made adjustments and rectifications in the boundaries of India," according to Menon.
Menon wrote that former Chinese Premier Zhou Enlai during his visit to India in 1960 "suggested that China might recognize the McMahon line boundary in the East in return to India accepting China's claim in the West" to provide strategic depth for China along the Aksai Chin road between Xinjiang and Tibet, which is now China National Highway 219.
Menon said India for the first time had Chinese troops at the border only after the People's Liberation of Army (PLA) took control of Tibet.
In 2014, hundreds of Chinese troops moved into a territory claimed by India, sparking the standoff on the remote mountainous frontier of Ladakh. India said the Chinese troops wanted to extend a road they were building on their side of the border into territory claimed by India. China agreed not to extend the road into the disputed territory. In return, India agreed to demolish a recently built observation hut, according to the Global Security.
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