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Sikkim- Tibet Convention of 1890

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Sikkim- Tibet Convention of 1890

What to study?

For Prelims and Mains: Border dispute between India and China, basis, agreements and conventions in this regard, way ahead.

 Context: The skirmishes and the standoff between Indian and Chinese troops at Naku La in Sikkim last month, in an area of the Line of Actual Control (LAC) has brought back the focus onto the historical Sikkim-Tibet Convention of 1890.

Experts say, as per this convention, Naku la belongs to India. Besides, Prior to Sikkim’s merger with India in 1975, China has officially accepted this demarcation.

What is the 1890 convention?

The treaty was formalised between Britain and Chinese kingdom. 

It was signed at Calcutta Convention in 1890. Of the eight Articles mentioned in the treaty, Article 1 is of critical significance.

As per Article (1), it was agreed that the boundary of Sikkim and Tibet shall be the crest of the mountain range separating the waters flowing into the Sikkim Teesta and its affluents, from the waters flowing into the Tibetan Mochu and northwards into other rivers of Tibet.

The line commences at Mount Gipmochi, on the Bhutan frontier, and follows the above-mentioned water-parting to the point where it meets Nepal territory. However, Tibet refused to recognise the validity of Convention of 1890 and further refused to carry into effect the provisions of the said Convention.

In 1904, a treaty known as a Convention between Great Britain and Tibet was signed at Lhasa.

As per the Convention, Tibet agreed to respect the Convention of 1890 and to recognise the frontier between Sikkim and Tibet, as defined in Article (1) of the said Convention.

On April 27, 1906, a treaty was signed between Great Britain and China at Peking, which confirmed the Convention of 1904 between Great Britain and Tibet.



Prelims Link:

Locate on the map:

  1. Nathu la.
  2. Jelep la.
  3. Doklam

Article 1 of the above said convention.

Sources: the Hindu.